Category: The Fam
HERBAGE MAGAZINE MARCH ‘23
Digital edition of the MARCH 2023 print issue #51 of Herbage Magazine.
Herb•age strives to bring you fresh content regularly. We cover a wide range of cannabis culture and medical marijuana-related issues from around the state of Oklahoma and beyond. In other words, It is our mission to be the voice of the growing cannabis industry in the state. Through fair and open discourse we hope to continue the trend of bringing cannabis out of the shadows and into the mainstream where it belongs. So, please join us and help us grow with Oklahoma!
Dict For V-Day
by James Bridges
I broke up with that disgusting and dreadful monster 4-years-ago and I think about her every day.
I couldn’t help the temptation. The blissful period when the thoughts stopped swirling in my head was my muse. She was, without a doubt, the one that would always be there to comfort me when I needed her. I told myself at a young age that one day we would part. In actuality, I counted on the fact that I would forget that promise to myself one day and my relationship would last forever.
I thought I loved her, but I realized, not as quickly as I would have liked, that I was under a spell. That spell that she cast had a hold of me and would not allow my thoughts to wander too far away.
Many other people have had “relations” with this overbearing and smothering polygamist. Though she is very committed to seeing that your side of the relationship is followed through, she could care less about the expectations that any of us have had of her.
She is the epitome of everything I know, love, and hate with a passion. “But it’s been 4 years!” you say, and I hear it. I just can’t wash it away. Sadly, I believe it may have been true love…
My thoughts have shifted over time. I’ve invested in the “new” me. I noticed early that I judged myself constantly. I started to think that this must have been the way I’ve acted toward myself for the majority of my entire life. Who was I to judge?… Then I started to wonder why I would do this to myself. With that, of course, came more self-judgment.
I’ve entered into a new space, now that it’s been 4 years. This space does nothing to take me away from the love that I still feel in my heart for her. I can’t seem to shake that. However, I am doing my best to play an active role in creating more changes for the betterment of my life. This new level of clarity is definitely becoming the most psychologically challenging aspect of my growth. It’s just so hard to get away from that cold hearted beast.
I struggle with calibrating my thoughts to align with my actions. I see it with my mindseye, yet I cannot fix it. It feels electric. The vibrations and emotions that are flowing as you watch yourself behave as if you are no longer in control. It’s a very unusual and strange experience. I’m sure many of you can relate.
I’m told it’s just a phase. Another stepping stone to get away from attachments, which may lead me back to her. Even though, a lot of the time, I struggle to have any desire to lift my foot, in hopes she may call again.
For now I will replace my old Valentine, called addiction, with something a little more pleasant. The thought of what is to come. This keeps me going. I know that someday my relationship with her won’t be so rocky. Maybe then everything will be aligned.
HERBAGE MAGAZINE FEBRUARY ‘23
Digital edition of the February 2023 print issue #50 of Herbage Magazine.
Herb•age strives to bring you fresh content regularly.
We cover a wide range of cannabis culture and medical marijuana-related issues. In other words, It is our mission to be the voice of the growing cannabis industry in the state. Through fair and open discourse we hope to continue the trend of bringing cannabis out of the shadows and into the mainstream where it belongs. So, please join us and help us grow with Oklahoma!
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HERBAGE MAGAZINE PLEASE CONTACT STUFF@HERBAGEMAG.COM
Steve Miller – Essential Tremors Breakthrough Using Cannabis
This is an update and a breakthrough discovery regarding Steve Miller and his battle with essential tremors. Miller has suffered from severe tremors his entire life. A group of cannabis researchers have come up with a formula they believe could lead to a solution for many who suffer the same.
By Michael Kinney
Steve Miller has tried to live a peaceful life. Despite numerous medical battles, he does his best to stay stress-free.
However, in early July, Miller was at his breaking point. It was a place he had been just a few times in his 69 years of life. But this time it was worse.
Miller suffers from a disease called Essential Tremors. It causes his body to violently shake, especially when his anxiety rises. As Miller cared for his sister, who was going through her own issues, he had what he called a psychotic break that affected him mentally, emotionally and physically.
“When she was trying to get off alcohol and stuff we both kind of started feeding off each other’s anxiety she ended up in the hospital and going to the emergency room because she didn’t know how to handle it,” Miller said of his sister. “I didn’t know how to help her. She actually had seizures that morning. So, I called an ambulance and got her. And then she got back home. And I, I can’t tell you how many days it was, but about 3, 4, 5 days later, I had to call 911 for me and take me to the emergency room, full chest pains.”
Miller said the pains felt like he was having a heart attack and he couldn’t breathe
“I had been shaking so much for so long and so hard that my intestines were just tied in a knot,” Miller said. “. Once you get anxious, you kind of get a little bit psychotic when it gets real bad.”
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Herbage Golf – Spring 2023
THE BLUNT & BOGEY TOUR –
BEST BALL SCRAMBLE
WIN PRIZES & ENJOY AN AFTERNOON WITH FRIENDS!
WHEN: Saturday, April 8, 2023, 10:00 AM
SIGN UP HERE
Plan to arrive by 10:00 AM for registration. Shotgun start at 11:00 AM.
Look forward to having fun and enjoying friends while your team participates in playing the “Best Ball” hit down the fairways.
We will have guest dab bars and plenty of giveaways available from our amazing sponsors.
Plenty of fun contests will be on the course, including a $50,000 prize for Hole-In-One!
Win prizes – Network with cannabis industry colleagues – Have fun!
AWARDS & SESH: 4:20 PM
WHERE: Choctaw Creek Golf Course and The Country Club Restaurant, 2200 North Hiwassee Road, Choctaw, OK 73020
SIGN UP HERE
For Obvious Reasons, No Receipts
For Obvious Reasons, No Receipts
By Kathleen Barker
Oh how far we’ve come from 1986 and getting our weed through reefer Rick! Though I think many of us can agree that we’d drop a lot of cash to do a deal with Eddie Munson. But here’s my question, what kind of flower does our favorite metalhead prefer? Is he more of a sativa smoker? Or an Indica kind of guy? And what about Terps?
Let’s ask some loyal Tumblr fans what they think, aye?
Lei: “Ooh, my first instinct is to say he’d go for a sativa. He’s a high energy kind of guy, I think that he might want something that would stimulate his mind and fuel his creativity when playing guitar or writing campaigns. Though perhaps on other occasions he may want an Indica just to be able to chill out and wind down, become one with the couch so to speak. He sells it so he’s got choices you know? Options at his disposal for different needs. The terpenes that stand out to me with Eddie in mind are Limonene, Myrcene, and Pinene. Limonene for the elevated mood and anti-depression. Eddie is a naturally positive person so I think he’d appreciate added benefits here. Myrcene for the added creativity that psychoactivity brings, and Pinene for memory retention and alertness since it seems pretty clearly to me that Eddie has ADHD and would really benefit from some help in those areas!”
Johnny: “Given that he’s well-versed in alternative medicine, maybe even a damned witch doctor due to being a dungeon master, he probably smokes both, but as far as a preference goes I guess sativa. He has lots of high-yielding energy, he’s very outgoing, so I don’t see his preference leaning towards couch potato vibes which would be Indica. As far as Terpenes go? Definitely some Limonene but after that shit with Chrissy? Linalool. He needs to relax and sedate himself after all that.“
Tess: “Eddie Munson is definitely a mood smoker. Majority of the time, I see him smoking a sativa dominant hybrid. His creativity is flowing and he is Vibing like the true metal man he is. However, when he is wanting to play guitar alone in his room, I can see him appreciating an Indica. No matter which mood he was sporting that moment in the day, he is definitely lighting up something skunky, linalool, or alpha – pinene dominant.“
Becca: “So I strongly feel Eddie goes for the sativa strain. As a musician and a Dungeon Master he needs all the alertness he can get and Indicas do the total opposite. Indicas I feel are more for relaxing. As for the Terps, I see him being into limonene, Myrcene, Linalool, Borneol, and Eucalyptol.“
Well there you have it puppet’s! Majority rules in favor of sativa for the Master of Hellfire! Personally, that was my vote as well, it just seems to make sense for our lovable metalhead. But hey, maybe Kas the bloody handed will have a different taste…dun dun DUN!!!! He’s alive dammit, there’s no convincing me otherwise. UNTIL NEXT TIME – Kat
Pressing For Gold – Wellevate Farms
By James Bridges
We pulled into the parking lot of what was obviously a structure built to move heavy machinery and vehicles, I noticed the sign for Wellevate Farms, but I couldn’t help but wonder. I thought to myself, “Why is that large, roughly 75 foot tall, gas rig blocking my parking space?” Then I took a good look around. I noticed more heavy equipment, trailers, and yes, even more rigs that stood tall and inoperable. I thought to myself again, “Maybe I should open my eyes and stop listening to that constant repetitive voice coming from my speakers?”
I felt as if I had driven into the wrong address until I recognized a smile. The smile was large and the man behind it couldn’t seem more welcoming. Adam Stockman presented himself as one of the directors. The man that wears many hats with a team of fellow multi-hatters designed to accomplish whatever is put in front of them. We were invited inside.
John Hughes himself would have been jealous and may have even made the motion to dial his attorney if he were to walk into the facilities at Wellevate Farms in Skiatook, OK. The large, almost circular interior structure with a maze/classroom aesthetic would have him screaming at the old troupe to gear up and shoot The Breakfast Club 2.0.
“So this room will soon be the house dispensary.” Adam pointed over my shoulder. “That’s why we picked the one with the exterior door.”
We met Adam during the Cowboy Cup in December 2022. One of the late nights of the cup led both myself and Brook Miller to a table where Adam and a new product awaited our introduction. The product is actually designed and offered by Wellevate Farms themselves. It’s called the WelleVape.
I will do my best to describe the product. The product is vaporized inside of the device. The vapor then flows and fills the chalice or glass. Then bottoms-up! You drink and repeat. It’s surprising, unique, and comes with an experience to accompany your meds.
We were invited to repeat as many times as desired. We made sure we had plenty of “introduction” time for one another.
“We found a way to procreate our own dispensary.” I listened as Adam opened up more. “Yeah. and, we’re about 60 days out. We were lucky for how we found ours though. I mean, I’ve heard $$$$ over and over, and we found something nowhere near those numbers. We were able to acquire this and even own the building. Most licenses are not available the way ours was, and for that we are very grateful.”
He must have noticed the twitch in my brow as he spoke and peaked my interest. Adam continued, “Yeah. The old owner just didn’t ever put anything together here. We took it off his hands. We think we can do something special with this place. That’s what we are here to do.”
The informed and intelligent Adam pointed out that the goal was to become more of an appointment only dispensary. They want to offer medicines to those specifically in the area that are in need. However, because that is where their cultivation and lab is located, they feel it best to keep the main gate closed to the public.
“Everyone always says they want to carry our product.” Adam showed that giant smile again. “We know we have the right product.” Adam’s confidence was sure. “Our sales have already given us a very positive projection. Now it’s time to network, continue marketing, and advertising so we can become more top of mind for patients when they choose.”
These guys definitely have a “There’s nothing in getting our way” attitude. They have a fully operational grow facility. They are smashing killer solventless hash rosin on a press made for giants. They have 120 Square Feet of freeze drying space. They even have their own CO2! Afterall, we were essentially standing on top of a natural gas well. I couldn’t have been more impressed.
Adam continued to show us around. “I mean, with the equipment that we have and the facility that we have, it’s been a long haul. We are all-in on the investment, time and money. More than I could have fathomed. So it’s a long game. We’re honest with ourselves though. We have an accountant. Other than accounting, we don’t really outsource anything. Everything is pretty much created in-house, even metric.”
The team at Wellevate was surprisingly small compared to the output of the facility. There’s Adam Stockman who is the general manager/all hats, and a very knowledgeable lead cultivator, Brandon Summers.
We ran into Devon Gaines and Chad Upton. Both are hash washers for Wellevate. They help press the magic, which is Wellevate Farms signature hash rosin. Fluid for the god’s, if you will. We actually had the opportunity to witness the making of said fluid.
The press was more than a press. We walked into the dedicated press room and sat back and watched as they prepped the product. At 180 degrees this beast will smash 3 full 15 gram pouches at one time. That is 45 grams in one press. They use a Low temp V2 Medusa. They have also fabricated a custom mechanical arm, which adds tilt to the base of the press to assist the drip. The team claims that they have noticed a slight change in quality since implementing this lift system. I was more than impressed.
“It’s a lot like a family around here.” Adam explained a common scenario in the cannabis industry. However, this one seemed to be run by individuals that have the mental capability to set boundaries around those emotions. They were there for business, and they all knew it. “Yeah. I wouldn’t say that on any given day, we all get along by any means. But at the end of the day, I also know that if I need something, I’m going to call one of these guys. We butt heads, because we all have real high expectations of what we want to happen. We know that we’re on the right team. We are like a bunch of brothers and sisters around here. We’d probably be better off with some boxing gloves some days. In the end we love and respect one another.”
Adam walked us through the place as if he were showing us his newly remodeled house. I felt that if Adam had a second home it would have been the apartment he slept in and paid rent for about an hour away. I even had the thought of asking him for random shop items. I had an inkling that he would be able to whisp off for a minute and retrieve anything that I requested.
I was curious about his thoughts on cleanliness and managing quality and testing. Knowing now of how small the crew was that operated such a large space, I wondered if there might be issues. As I looked around in every room there were signs of constant cleaning. Some of the spaces looked as if the equipment had just been installed. These guys had the process down for sure. The convincingly honest Adam opened an eye, “My strategy for taking lead for testing is to reach my hand into the big tub and get five grams of random nugs. I’m not cutting the top. I’m not cutting the nicest, prettiest bud off the top of the nicest, prettiest plant in the room. I literally want to take an honest sample. I think it causes us to get lower numbers sometimes. But, I’d rather somebody get a bud from us that says 25% and they get home and they get 30%.”
One of the largest factors keeping the overhead so low while also giving Wellevate Farms the ability to operate with a crew of only five is automation. “Whenever we harvest, we’ve got the bucker.” Adam started pointing at massive and sometimes intricate pieces of hardware inside the expansive main floor. “We’ve got the sorting table, I’ve got the machine trimmer, and we have a room over here that holds 288 plants. We can harvest that in one day with only three people. Our goal is always to go from a live plant to the freezer in a maximum of 45 minutes. If we can hit 30 to 40 minutes, that’s where I’m happy. An hour is acceptable, but not desired.”
After viewing the rooms, which included three mom rooms, a separate clone room, and 13 others used for cultivation, I was asked to enter another part of the building. As I walked through the doorway I felt as if I had entered a portion of the building which was its financial nucleus. It was warm and inviting, yet very much more formal than the rest of the building. I was introduced to two partners. Blaine Heg and Gary Lewis were welcoming and relaxed. I felt comfortable as we spoke.
“When you get the right people all pushing in the same direction it’s hard to stop.” Blaine seemed very savvy. His demeanor demanded respect, however I felt the desire to give respect even with my eyes closed. He seemed very well established and I could sense that any ventures that peaked his interest would certainly be solid.
“We’re more hands on.” Blaine took the lead, “We come from a world where we realize that everything mechanical is gonna break and it’s nice to know we can fix it. One of the biggest things for us is the ability to have everything right there. If we don’t we can usually find it or fabricate it ourselves.”
The owners at Wellevate Farms have been able to incorporate the use of other subcontractors. “We’ve brought subs in on our buildouts. These are local electricians, plumbers, contractors, builders, and more. We work side by side with them. Honestly the questions they’ve asked have been game changing. It’s valuable because I never thought of it the way they bring up specific issues.”
Many leaders in cannabis, as well as so many other industries, tend to think they can purchase success. Some go out and purchase the “best” lighting systems. Maybe go look for the most expensive starting quarterback when all they needed was to look around at the team. Blaine and Gary didn’t want that. They had no desire to go scouting. They wanted to build a strong and long lasting environment with people they knew and trusted. So they did both.
Fortunately they did, in-fact, find the experts fit for Wellevate Farms. However, in this case, they didn’t have to go out and seek it.
Herbage Magazine January 2023
Digital edition of the January 2023 print issue #49 of Herbage Magazine. Herb•age strives to bring you fresh content regularly. We cover a wide range of cannabis culture and medical marijuana-related issues from around the state of Oklahoma and beyond. In other words, It is our mission to be the voice of the growing cannabis industry in the state. Through fair and open discourse we hope to continue the trend of bringing cannabis out of the shadows and into the mainstream where it belongs. So, please join us and help us grow with Oklahoma!
One Tiny Drop
By James Bridges
I was at a breaking point on a couple of projects that were nearly finished. My director, at the time, had been going through a ton of personal issues. His loved one had recently passed. This had been someone that he loved dearly. Someone that passed entirely too soon.
Many around him could tell that this had affected him greatly. I would often have talks alone with him and became quite comfortable talking freely about our personal life. I knew that he was not in the right frame of mind. I could feel a sense of non-enthusiasm coming from him. I started noticing him working up a 12 hour day sweat like the old days in areas of the building that he may had once even managed. He was searching for something, as if he were searching for a purpose.
One day I overheard someone talk poorly of my director’s performance over the past couple of weeks. I was very curious as to why my colleagues would stoop so low as to start rumors. I shrugged it off. I respected the man they chose to speak poorly of. I knew of his long career and dedication to his people and his family. I could not show respect to anything that would shed a dark light on him.
A few days passed by and we received a visit from the “big wigs” in the company. Otherwise known as cost cutters. Corporate ninjas coming in to cut the fat. I noticed many of my colleagues collecting around the group of ninjas. They were offering them lunch. They were throwing out fun “after-hours” ideas for the group. You know….buddy, buddy…
Meanwhile my director sat in his office going over numbers. He was no longer considered a leader by some. I witnessed as some used him like a ladder to gain approval from the cost-cutters.
The “ninjas” wanted to have a round table discussion with the group. For some reason they felt it would be just fine to leave my director, the head honcho, out. I felt uneasy as I watched people that had worked in the industry, a fraction of the time that my director had, talk badly about his work ethic. My jaw simply would not shut. They acted as if the flow of the office was more important than humanity. It was like watching an angry mob throw rotten vegetables at the heroic knight after he fell.
I thought of all the time he had put into his career. In the past he told me stories of projects that he spearheaded. He spoke of tasks that I would have killed to be involved in. I respected this person as a human and a master of his craft.
As I witnessed the rumblings of a coo, I worried that what had been said would never be forgotten. I worried that the group could never really trust one another again. I worried so much about everyone else. I wondered if my director would ever catch wind of what was said in that room. I felt a deep sense of shame for the group and sadness for the man.
A few days later my director announced his retirement. Another chapter in the books for him. I can’t say whether or not that discussion had anything to do with the announcement. However, I do know that he could have never made a better decision.
I wonder sometimes how 5 minutes of rumors could make 35 years of dedication and experience turn into a tainted bucket of water.
I realize now that that bucket was only tainted in the eye of the beholder. I look at this person’s path as somewhat of a discovered journey. One that makes no difference as to who is liked or disliked. One that has broken chains of being attached to opinions of a group of people that know nothing of his very own craft.
Now I see him from afar. I still admire his ability to remain authentic and pure to his craft. I read his words when there’s the chance. I still love (almost) every piece. I love to imagine myself to one day attain the position that he has. His position in life. His sense of self shows with his actions and hardly ever his words, unless they are written.
It’s kind of funny how something that seems so dirty can actually be some of the purest liquid of life, if it’s simply allowed to settle.
It’s The Little Things
By Charles “Uncle Chuck” Duncan
The term “everyday things” refers to something which happens or is used every day. We tend to make those items not important and make big things like vacation trips and anniversaries our “big ticket” items. Photo-opts and scrapbook fodder. Posed grins and smiles to complete the experience. Ironically, we spend the majority of our waking hours earning money to try and recreate those “memories”.
I believe real life is just the opposite. The culmination of all the mundane little things we do is what makes a life. When people toast others at weddings or remember their loved ones at funerals, they speak and remember the things we do or did most. They say things like, “they always had a smile” or “they loved” this activity or that sport. They remember the big ticket items for a story to share but what you are to them really is contained in the little things you did most of the time for them and with them. Your amazing hugs. Your dad jokes. Your ability to make the most amazing lasagne. Your weakness for anything Star Wars related. Those memories come from attending the many wonderful shows that are you. The real you. Even the not so flattering ones. From laugh snorting to rolling the ugliest doobie. We all have some negative qualities. Those of us with anxiety and depression, tend to magnify those latter qualities, to the detriment of the former.
Those “everyday things” are not so easy to do when you have anxiety or depression. The majority of your time is spent alone and away in your own world. You think, no one can hurt you or be hurt if you just stay in your own world and come out for the big ticket items. But that’s not life. Life again, is full of many small moments.
Everyone knows that alcohol helps tear down those barriers and can turn an introvert to an extrovert faster than a new Ryan Reynolds appearance. But unlike Ryan Reynolds, alcohol comes with tons of baggage all its own when used too often.
Cannabis has proven on so many fronts that it is the best natural medication for certain anxiety and depression symptoms. The only thing standing in the way between the patient and the plant are politicians. Politicians who are either pandering to a lobby and/or just ignorant when it comes to the science behind cannabis. As an advocate, that’s on me. I need to do a better job at advocating and educating the public. But we need your help. We need more and more non-advocate, regular, non-industry tied members of the public to stand up and question your representatives. Ask them why they are making it hard, or in some cases impossible, for those among us who suffer from anxiety and depression to obtain a plant and start experiencing their “everyday things”.
Let’s Get Mowdy
By James Bridges
“We’ve all been in this together. I remember Temple Kush put us on the map. Now look at us. We are rocking and rolling and we can’t stop right now. I keep telling Joe, ‘you got to have a gig and stick with it, try like hell to be the best at it, and you will do very well in this industry.’ That’s what we do.” Brian Ganster, owner of Mowdy Farms was rested and ready for his second time to be featured in Herbage Magazine.
Brian speaks of a Temple Kush strain that was available in a local dispensary about 3-years-ago. I had the amazing opportunity to try and hoard quite a bit of that flower before I finally decided to track down the grower and interview him. Ahh, the temple kush…
It’s time to catch up. It’s time to check in with our friends and see how they are compared to back then. Spoiler alert… I wasn’t disappointed.
As I walked through the front entrance, I noticed a complete and total makeover of sorts. The last time Herbage and Mowdy Farms connected like this, Mowdy operations were located in a different location entirely. They now had, what looked and smelled and acted like, a brand new spot to grow some of the best medicine in the cannabis market.
Speaking of the cannabis market… The Oklahoma cannabis market seems to be shifting in a way that may be pleasing to some and not so much to others. This was more of where my interest was at the moment.
I travel a lot. I visit many areas of the state and talk to many people within the industry. There’s growing concern among many smaller “mom & pops” of whether or not they can sustain. It’s so important for all pro-cannabis communities to come together, as one, to make the best decision for the greater good.
Much of what I am hearing is actually optimistic. This is when I talk to those that aren’t necessarily trying to “get out while they can”. I talk to those that understand that there is an entire ecosystem at hand to maintain sustainability. A solid product, work well within the community, marketing at a balanced level, and continuing to grow a standard for your brand. The cultivators, dispensaries, and other derivative companies that seem to not be less concerned about the future are the ones that practice all of those parts of the equation. If, indeed, there is too much supply, then there must be a way to create a higher demand. In other words, bring your A-game. It’s time.
“The loss of quality is the worst thing that could possibly happen to us,” Brian confirmed. “If we ain’t trying to put out some of the best product we’re going to lose our f****** facing this crap just like everyone else.”
Brian is one of the more intelligent people that I have met in my life. He not only understands and is top notch at cultivating, he understands business. He
understands the simplicity of business and uses it to succeed.
“So when ‘Walmart’ comes in here and just starts making packs, we’ve still got to stand out. We got to have a customer base. We push out good medicine for Oklahoma. No question. We can push out proper medicine to the rest of the country, if they’d let us… However, I know that I want to advertise with Herbage or something that is for everything we stand for. That’s where the money needs to be. Right here in a state where we can sell f****** weed. We still have to be talking to the same people that we know. We have to continue to let people know that we’re kicking it out there. Then it’s up to me to get our prices balanced and competitive. We look at Zenoa, or Cookies, and some of these big boys that are coming from all over the country. We’ve gotta stay competitive, you know?”
Brian kept looking over at his head grower, Joe Faught. Joe is an old school grower. He’s learned some tricks or two on the west coast of our great country. Joe simply smiled and agreed. He was very good at that. However, when it was his turn…
“There’s so much going on in the market. People are talking about taxes here, overhead there, hell, even China is getting involved in the conversation somehow! Really, to me it comes down to holding onto that quality and price. There are so many growers around that are dropping their prices through the floor just to get out or pay some bills. In my opinion, this kills the economy of our industry.” Joe sat back and folded his arms gently.
Brian took the reins, “What I love is that when people go into a dispensary and see our flower they know it’s ours. I want it the same as any of the big
boys. If they see Mowdy weed in a dispensary, then I want them to trust that it is good quality weed. We’ve got to be those guys in order to even stay alive. Then we need to stay legal. To stay compliant with all of the changes and watch the prices of flower drop is very difficult now. The ticket is a huge ticket. But it’s all going to level out at some point. It will level itself out. We just hold onto our quality with a low overhead and continue a marketing strategy that works best for us. Meanwhile, there will be those that go away. Those that can’t stay compliant. Hell, make enough laws and they will push people out of here.”
I couldn’t wait to get my lungs full of some good Mowdy smoke. It’s definitely a “usual” for me at dispensaries that carry them. If you are a dispensary that does not, you may want to consider something of this high caliber.
My relationship over the years with the gang at Mowdy has never failed. Brian has always been a man of his word to me. Someone who, in my opinion, is making a difference for those out there that need his and his team’s experience and ethics when growing the medicine that keeps them so well. The Temple Kush has been long gone. Maybe they will try it again and I’ll go out to the farm and get lost. Who knows? But I do know that every strain that I have tried that is cultivated by Mowdy Farms, thus far, has been some of the highest quality cannabis that I myself have had the pleasure of experiencing.
Feminine Divine – Ebony Jones
Keeping the Faith; a Woman’s Story of Generational Resilience and Healing through Curated Experiences and Sweet Potato Pie
by Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate
Ebony Jones, of 8Twenty8, is a cannabis Pastry Chef paving the way for other people of color following her path. “Being one of the few known Black women in the Oklahoma cannabis industry has been very challenging, but [it is] a fight I’m willing to stay in. I’m more than ready to occupy spaces with more powerful women looking to open doors in this industry with hopes and dreams like myself,” she says. Ebony is a Survivor, a Caregiver, and entrepreneur. An empath and spiritual Virgo, she is both lion and lamb – strong and bold yet gentle and calm in her approach and is agile and flexible in her pursuits. She is a fine example of the Divine Feminine.
Ebony is an Oklahoma cannabis industry transplant who comes to us by way of Georgia. The youngest child in birth order, she was born in Hampton, VA to a big military family. Her Mother, Toni, was a member of the US Air Force. “She taught us who God was,” Ebony relays. Her maternal Grandmother, Annie, was the only Black teacher in her school. She taught Art and Home Economics and was a Godly woman. Growing up, “she had us at revivals from eight to four in the afternoon.” It was not until high school through the age of twenty that Ebony found her personal relationship with God.
Toni had fallen ill with papilledema, a condition that, according to the National Cancer Institute, causes swelling around the optic disk. This is the area where the optic nerve enters the eyeball. Toni was also diagnosed with Arnold Chiari Malformation – a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal – subsequently forcing her into early retirement from the United States Postal Service at the age of thirty-five. This was the beginning of a life-long battle. A caregiver for her mother from about the age of ten, Ebony dropped out of high school to care for her more closely.
Toni’s multiple surgeries and required aftercare unfortunately resulted in readily available narcotics in the home. Without Toni’s knowledge, Ebony became a young person with access to unmonitored prescription medication and heavy burdens to carry. She was also living with the ghost of personal trauma. Ebony is now an advocate for therapy. “If I hadn’t gotten in therapy, I wouldn’t be here,” she declares. After a choice decision left a sibling stranded when she numbingly put him out of the car during an argument, she quit the pills. She tells us, “We are survivors of the pill pandemic.”
As a young person Ebony aspired to open a medicinal cannabis café for kids. “Since tenth grade my business plan has always included weed.” She returned to high school and upon completion went on to obtain her Associates of Occupational in Patisserie and Baking from Le Cordon Bleu while she established herself as a Baker and Pastry Supervisor in the highly competitive and innovative Atlanta food service industry. The delicate measure and alchemy of baking is in her bones so naturally our meticulous, calculated Virgo excelled in her craft – including a position as the Baking Supervisor with Carlo’s Bakeshop as featured on the reality tv show Cake Boss. She recalls, “[The] first day we had a line out the door starting at 3am, and we didn’t open until 6!” She reflects on her position with Primrose Schools – an institution that provides high-quality early education and care – in the highest regard, “I loved those kids.” Ebony’s interest in holistic wellness was unwavering and she would also obtain her Certificate of Completion in Cannabis Education through the Cannabis Training University of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
She saw what was happening in Oklahoma and wanted a piece of that sweet potato pie she would later bake for herself. Ebony began submitting resumes everywhere and received a bite when RD Hendrickson – the owner of Arizona-based Sublime – reached out to let her know if she were ever in Oklahoma, he would like to interview her. “You don’t know these people,” her family said, “turn your [phone] locations on,” she recounts through a giggle. She was not going to miss this opportunity, regardless of the risk. Ebony’s personality is as golden as her resume and Hendrickson wanted her to join the team, so with the support of her grandpa, she left everyone and everything she knew to pursue her dreams. “To others it may appear as if it came easy but take some time to converse with me [and] you’ll learn it has taken trials, tribulations, tears, and plenty of therapy sessions.” It was the first time she had ever left home, and within a week of her big move Ebony’s sweet Grandpa suffered a stroke. Then suddenly her employer lost their location, forcing them to temporarily close during the relocation period. Instead of retreating home Ebony stuck it out through her tribulations and found a cannabis industry position with Euphora dispensary until Sublime’s new building was secured.
“Oklahoma is a sacred land,” she tells us, “So much has happened here. You can feel the blood in this land.” Ebony’s euphemism is not lost on us. “This industry is messy,” she goes on to say, “the divide out here is crazy.” She is speaking to the boundary that is being “one of the few in the room,” she tells us. “In all honesty it has been worth it, though in the beginning it was a huge culture shock, and I didn’t think I would survive Oklahoma.” She asks herself how she is going to change the conversation. “I love being in a place in my career where I can professionally correct others for being culturally inappropriate or placing me in an uncomfortable position and we can still operate in a healthy environment after the teaching moment.” Ebony speaks openly and earnestly on her social media platforms. “I’m down for teaching. I’m still learning myself,” she says. She believes herself to be a “Virgo that has no filter at all.” However, she tells us she “understands the effects of speaking before thinking and evaluating the power of your words and how they may affect another person.” Within her healing process Ebony has also learned that to achieve growth she must “take accountability for my wrongs, correct those wrongs, and put in the work to actively become a better person for this world.”
The life of an entrepreneur is not for the weak, and keeping your faith is ten times the work, she’s found. “Choosing to uproot what I knew as comfortable to relocate to Oklahoma has shown me the power and resilience that has been instilled in me by my mother.” Ebony now represents and manufactures products for Country Cannabis, who acquired Sublime. “They are a diverse company,” she says and asks, “what does country look like to you?” She tells us she is incredibly grateful but “technically I’m still out here by myself.” While she feels immensely supported by her employer Ebony’s real hustle is her passion project, 8Twenty8, LLC. Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Taking leaps of faith and believing in the purpose of the company is what keeps 8Twenty8 going, Ebony believes. 8Twenty8’s craft-baked goods and custom orders have satisfied the palettes of Oklahomans with every dietary restriction and preference known – try those gluten free oatmeal cream pies – but she is not just in the business of baking dessert, her true business is loving people. Ebony doesn’t want you to stereotype her- she’s not just about pies. She is interested in curating experiences, and tells us, “Whether that’s with me, you tasting my pies, or hosting an event.”
Things have been taking off for 8Twenty8. Ebony has received lots of exposure recently as 8Twenty8 has been featured in recent Studio 30 events and Sherweed Forrest’s Throwdown Bazaar. She is called upon for private catering and custom orders by the biggest names in the Oklahoma cannabis industry and while ever grateful, Ebony is always looking to the future. With an entrepreneur’s heart she declares, “I’m not accepting this middle class shit anymore,” she goes on to say, “America has taught us to work to live.” She wonders, how can I not think about making money while I make money? “I think it’s disgusting how much I want to give back to people,” relays our brave empath. Ebony dreams of an 8Twenty8 small-batch kitchen to order, that would accept custom orders for a patient’s individualized needs or commercial grow orders for retail sales. She also wants to create opportunities through events designed to be a retreat – a vacation.
8Twenty8 in association with Universe with Jaz Present Puff and Plant in the Park Sunday, June 12th, from 6-8pm. Located at Veterans/Centennial Park, attendees can expect an evening filled with release and manifesting. Paint’n’Plant intention kits provided with the purchase of admission. Event features Sound Bowl by The Reiki Mama, massages by Beyond Skin Deep and Oracle readings by Soar. Smokable organic herbal blend provided by Universe with Jaz. Light snacks served by 8Twenty8.
Happy Father’s Day
By James Bridges
I peaked over the top of the couch to see if I could catch what was happening outside. Something was going on that made my sister, mom, and the voices going on in this 8-year-old boy’s little head.
I watched as my family’s belongings were taken away. They were stripped away in my mind. I noticed my mother in a frantic state. My sister was a couple years younger and she had no idea. I myself knew of financial difficulties, even at that young age. It just wasn’t avoidable. I wanted to do something so badly to make it all stop. I couldn’t control what was happening in my head. My stomach started to roll. Then I looked over at something that made me feel as if I could make it through anything.
I watched as my dad reacted and witnessed what he had built up for his family over the last few years be repossessed. The look on his face was one of experience in these matters. I knew after watching what he had done in the past that he would overcome what was just set in front of him. I knew and I learned from his calmness in that situation. I could barely breathe, yet he smoked his cigarette as if it were a normal mid-morning break.
I learned a lot over that time of our life. I knew that money was fragile and it really meant nothing when it came to family and love. The support of one another in those times was the most important part of my childhood that I can ever imagine. The humor that was involved would make any down-and-out punk take a pause to laugh. Saturday Night Live had nothing on our skits. We were a tight family.
Sometimes my dad seemed to be in the background after those “crash” days. In other words, he worked his ass off to get what we needed for a family of five and only one income that recently busted. He would work nights and sometimes weeks at a time trying to get it all back. He taught me that no matter what happens, there is a way to dig out, and to always stand by your family and loved ones. That is what matters most.
My dad was simple and straight to the point. Still is. That’s one thing I admire him for.
Now that I am a dad I have been able to look back at my childhood with a much finer tooth comb than I normally would have. I have been able to pull from those winning moments that my dad had with us at that age. I have been able to imagine the failures and how to attempt to avoid them.
Funny thing is that what I learned the most from my dad was that you do not attempt to avoid failures. You navigate through them. Much like the path that I have chosen for myself over the past several years. Even though it seems much like accepting a challenge it’s really not. The hardest part is actually getting yourself to follow through on the “not attempting to avoid failure” part.
Recently I lost more in finances than my dad earned in almost one full year. The gravity of the situation is nearly incomprehensible to someone that comes from what I come from, which is nothing, financially. I have spent my entire life trying to avoid having to peek over that couch again. The loss has affected me greatly. The thought of my son experiencing a replica of that moment haunts me. However, I soon remember the kind of man my dad was. I remember how awesome it was to witness what he had done. That’s when I started idolizing him. I needed a father figure in my life that knew how to stand up for his loved ones, and he was it.
My son is almost 8-years-old now. I tend to see myself in his eyes. I know I shouldn’t, but sometimes it’s involuntary. I assume that he is thinking the same way that I was thinking at that age. I realize that I am totally wrong in that notion and it can actually be dangerous to his own psyche if I were to explore that realm further. So, I watch and learn.
I am able to witness the simplicity of life through him. I can have a near devastating hiccup in my normal daily routine and he somehow seems to know exactly what to say to help. I’m very careful to not become dependent on the words and emotions of my son, but it’s hard. As a parent you have to know…
When my son was born I could hardly handle the positive energy that was flowing. I was able to see people that I had not seen in such a long time. It was as if my son’s birth was a reunion of sorts. It was great.
Soon after I was back to hiding my emotions and calming the voices through alcohol and pills. I couldn’t help but think of the day when he would see me fail. My friends and I would have drunken talks at night about our fathers. It was ridiculously self-serving. It was the kind of talk you would think a bunch of sappy drunks would slur about so they could outdo one another.
The one thing that one of my friends did ask that stuck out to me was, “Do you remember the day you discovered your dad was not superman?” I did remember. It was the father I call dad today. It was the asshole that beat my mother and did many bad things before my real superman dad came to save us.
Finally it got to me. The drink. I had to stop or I was going to no longer be of this realm for much longer. The one true thing that keeps me sober is the love that I have for people that I care about. The most important person in my world is my son. He has given me wings in order to step away from the poison and fly high alongside him a little bit longer in life.
I also attribute my health and sanity to cannabis. I have never thought of myself as a cannabis dad. I still don’t. I think of myself as a dad. I consume cannabis so that I can keep the quality of life that my son deserves to see his father have. That’s what cannabis does for me as a father. However the magic comes from my children.
Many do not know this about me unless you know me well. I have another child that I am also very proud of. Jessi was born in 1993. I was a child myself. I had no education, clue, money, experience, or even a highschool diploma when Jessi’s mother was pregnant. What I did have was a beautiful child that I loved dearly and had ZERO clue as to what the hell a young couple with nothing was going to do. So I did exactly what I learned how to do in these situations. I navigated through it. I started working.
I worked a lot and was gone a lot. Jessi was born and we did like any other young and struggling couple that mistakenly thought they knew everything. I had rented a house that just so happened to have an address that was very close to the university in Ada, Ok. Irony? Poetic? Or just another slap in the face by the universe?
I worked many different jobs over the short time we were together. From painters helper in an auto body shop to heat & air installation. I was a jack of many trades. Not all mind you…
I soon found myself in a courtroom. I was being asked to give permission to allow my child to leave the state lines without me. I reluctantly gave in. Though, I knew her mother meant to do well.
Years passed and lives evolved as you can imagine. I reconnected with my child in the teenage years. It went well, but ended not so well in a father’s eye. We didn’t speak for years after that. However, as I stated before, the moment that my son was born reunited many of us. It also brought my other child home for a short while.
At that time I was heavily drinking and taking whatever I could put inside of my system to alter it. I was even hiding it. My own ex-wife had no clue of the amount of alcohol I drank to stay functional. I wasn’t a violent drunk. It was as if that became who I was over time. I was literally drinking for breakfast and then topping it off at night with some sleeping pills and alcohol for the buzz.
Jessi was staying over at my family’s house for a bit while in town trying to find a reason to move back. I was pushing it of course. I wanted nothing more than to have all of my kids and wife in one area. It was like a fairy tale in my head that everyone in the world seemed to keep saying was impossible, yet I knew it wasn’t. I knew deep down inside that I could change it. I could make my family whole again. If I could simply hold it together and make everyone happy things would change for the better.
One night I went back to a room where Jessi was staying. I wanted to talk about things. I was in a head space that I shouldn’t have been in. At that time I had started feeling dizzy every day. I fell once and hurt my head. I just chalked it up to that. I sat down on the edge of Jessi’s bed. The next thing I remember is falling over to the side of the bed and I couldn’t focus. It was strange. I had not drank any more than I normally had. However, the amount that I normally drank was preposterous.
I remember making it to my bedroom and crawling on the floor. I couldn’t get off the floor. Soon after I discovered that I had done too much damage to my body over the years and it was time to make a decision.
I could hear the voices talking as I laid in my closet for days. I noticed my son walking by and looking in the door. I could hear Jessi pleading to someone to take me to the hospital. I thought I started talking to spirits from the past. Even some from the future. I was under a spell that only those that have experienced liver failure or something like it can fathom. I wanted nothing more than to take back what I had done.
In my head I had not been patient enough. By that, I mean I had given up on my ultimate goal without even knowing it. I couldn’t stand the anxiety of it all. In my head I was about to die and I didn’t have enough time to make amends with what I had ju
st realized. It was as if I was dreaming of my own burial. I was alive inside the coffin and couldn’t scream.
After that moment I never touched a drop of alcohol or opiates to cope. Cold turkey. What has opened my mind to the opportunities that I actually have now as a person is cannabis. I medicate regularly with cannabis. I smoke it for anxiety. I smoke it to get high and have fun. I smoke it because it tastes good. I smoke it because I love to party sometimes. I smoke because I want to be there for my children. I smoke because I want to be there for myself.
I am assuming this is the definition of a cannabis dad. Who knows? But what I do know is that cannabis has helped me to become who I really am. Authentically I am a good and loving father and I recognize that my children are their own entities. I understand that each of them has a path that they will choose. I hope that they both are fulfilled greatly as they travel down those paths. I hope that I can be there for them if they ever need my loving support.
I do know something for certain. I am the most authentic self that I can be at this moment and time. It is not perfect and I am so happy that it is not. I love my child Lincoln and my child Jessi with all that I can muster. I love my dad for being the superman that did what he did for us back then.
Even as failure continues to attempt to elude me from achieving my tasks, I appreciate each and everything around me as much and the best that I can. I do have to give gratitude to cannabis. Not only did it bring me to my senses, it brought a ton of my loved ones back together in some strange way. Happy Fathers Day Ronnie. I can only hope that one day my children understand as I do you.
(Taking a look at Neurodivergence and Cannabis)
By Kathy Barker
Have you ever missed a stair in the dark? It’s like your heart stood up too fast, whilst being in the process of a dizzying white out blindness, before pulling on your lungs for support. SO. naturally, your chest tightens and you start sweating because OBVIOUSLY something is wrong. Welcome to anxiety. There are many ways to placate this beast. However, there are equally as many ways to Piss it off. Fun fact to start us off. Cannabis can do both!
Let’s take a look at both perspectives shall we?
In the right corner we have William Terrell weighing in at : Extremely Anxious.
I asked him how our beloved cannabis helped to quell the nonstop barrage of brain chatter?
“It’s as if I live my life with an old TV in the corner, with static blaring all the time. The static distracts my thoughts, slows them down, But THC turns that TV off for a couple of hours. It’s as if I’m a different person. I’m not fighting to exist in my own mind. I can think and feel and experience things so much more clearly.”
It was surreal the way he was describing it, because I too could relate with the static. For me however, It wasn’t my own static, but the static from other people’s minds. Hints my aversion to crowds. I continued my curiosity with the question of who was he when the TV was on as opposed to off?
“I’m nothing when it’s on, the motivation to exist isn’t really there. The complexity of Life hits me too hard. Life feels too stimulating, especially social interaction. When it’s off I can be me. I find myself mirroring others less when I’m smoking. I allow myself to be me rather than what others want me to be.”
I think we can all agree that’s pretty intense. William shared that it was a long road before he actually smoked regularly, but when he did make the decision, it was because he noticed the plant’s healing gift of “quieting the noise.” For him, his most noticeable setback was lethargy. But the benefits out-way the cost considerably. Furthermore, between Vaping, smoking, and eating THC, it was never concluded that any of the methods were “bad” per say. Simply, different.
Now in our left corner Sits Jaszi the Bunny Butler weighing in at : So anxious, she has the capability of transforming into a mute.
That’s no exaggeration either. With the wonderful privilege of being able to call her heart warmingly important for four years now, I can confirm she usually stumbles over sentences and giggles until she just stops trying to use words all together.
But honestly it’s not quite so cut and dry. I asked Jasmine for her perspective on anxiety and how it manifests for her, there was a simple reply.
On a common day to day? : “Sweaty hot feet, or rabbit paws if you prefer. I feel like I’m gonna pass out, I start seeing in tunnel vision. I can feel my heart’s just not having it at that moment. I get palpitations.”
She went on to mention that those symptoms become more severe when she’s in social situations or figures of authority are speaking to her. Now when she smokes weed it’s a completely different ball game. When I first met Jasmine, she was always down to puff, in fact she could nearly out-toke her best friend, my husband Johnny. (Being a dialysis patient, he medicates quite a bit)
“It put me in a mellow state of mind and I could do anything I wanted to, socially, without caring and now I can’t function in public. I can’t even leave my bed.”
I wondered when it had all started for her. How early? The answer was a resounding ‘VERY’. “Just before I turned eleven, three weeks before in fact,” she answered. By a lot of standards, that’s fairly young. But when life immediately gives you lemons…you make lemonade. Alas, Medicating with Mary Jane wasn’t fated to last. She took a two year break and it turned into a breakup.
“The last time I smoked weed I took a hit and I was fine. Then I took another hit and it instantly hit me. My head got hot, my body started to shake, I couldn’t form words, I was dizzy and couldn’t move. It lasted for about three hours. It felt like I was trippin’ on acid.
Everything was moving, colors were bright and everything was nauseating”
I couldn’t close my eyes without feeling like I was falling.”
That in itself is a pretty persuasive reason to stop, or at least take a few steps back. But what was the real kicker?
“There was a time in my life when I was going to the hospital almost every day. I told the doctors I had cyclic vomiting syndrome, (CVS) and they asked me if I smoked weed. I told them yes, and then they told me that I had Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) and that I needed to stop smoking. I went in two weeks later for my heart monitor and it turned out weed was slowing my heart rate down when I slept and spiking it during the day, giving me more palpitations. That was the last time I went to the hospital and I stopped smoking after that.
I haven’t had a CVS attack since then”Well what about CBD? Does that do any good for you?
“Cbd helps in gummy form, but only in gummy form.”
What do the other forms do for you?
“Nothing really, they just give me a hand to mouth smoke fixation”
Got any advice for all the readers out there?
“Go into it with a good mindset, be in a good place with friends.” “Keep some water nearby and something too munch. If you can relate to any of my experiences, consult your physician, is all I gotta say.”
Thank you for reading everyone!
The Chronissuer – DOC FERGUSON
Time To Dab
Reviewed by Hopper
Written by Pamela Jayne
If you would have told me 30-years-ago, 20-years-ago, 10-years-ago…hell even 5-years-ago, that I’d be setting up a cannabis grow operation with intentions of it to be tracked by law enforcement, I would have bet money that would never happen…but here we are. Fresh out of METRC deadline hell with all plants tagged and everything in full compliance.
Like a homie of mine said, “Hell didn’t freeze over, but Hopper went legal, so that’s pretty much the same thing.” I know a lot of you were putting in long hours to make the deadline too, and we’re probably thinking pretty much the same thing.
I know I took a little trip down memory lane while I was tagging plants, thinking about how far we’ve come. I’ve got nothing but love and respect for the black market because it’s where I’m from. There would be no white market if it weren’t for the risks taken and innovations made by the black market. Sorry about the tangent, l just get super passionate about that subject.
Anyway, when James with Herbage Magazine handed me the goody bag of reviews and I saw that this month is all about concentrates. I was beyond stoked to fire up the Puffco and change gears for awhile. The fact that it’s technically considered “work” reminded me what a gift it is to be a part of this industry and community.
#1 Chem Dahlia Budder by Double Down Dabs
This buttered up beauty has a beautifully creamy, opaque sheen to it, and it has a really interesting nose. The first words that come to mind are “poopy funk” if you know what I mean. There’s definitely a hint of citrusy limonene in there, too. The texture is perfect. It’s like scooping up a dab of buttercream frosting. I can already tell this is going to be epic as I sit here not so patiently waiting for the Puffco to heat up. Wow! It was worth the wait, for sure. The flavor is super clean and crisp, full bodied and well balanced. It’s not sweet citrusy, it’s more acidic citrusy…but that’s a good thing. It’s a heavy hitter that expanded the lungs nicely but didn’t choke me out. The hit is just as clean as the flavor, and provides instant head to toe relief of physical and mental stress. It frees the mind of whatever has been occupying it, and lifts the spirits. Nothing will be able to weigh you down after a dab of this. Not even METRC, haha.
#2 Kush Mints Wax (Doc Ferguson and Rams Head collaboration)
This Kush Mints wax is a nice buttery blonde color and has a crumble like consistency that is very easy to work with, which is nice. Aromatically it’s like a mash up of Pinesol and a freshly picked mint leaf. It’s also kind of gassy and I get a little bit of a garlic smell, too. It hits super smooth and tastes out of this world. Its flavor profile is gassy lemon pine with undertones of garlic pepper. I love the Kush Mints flower, so of course I’m really digging this wax. Doc Ferguson and Rams Head really knocked it out of the park with this collab. Just one big hit of this really sat me back in my chair and had me thinking about life and what a beautiful trip it is. It’s a nice little cerebral vacation that won’t knock you out physically but does help with muscle tension and the aches and pains that come with a hard days work.
#3 Mimosa Diamonds by Double Down Dabs
Chunky and pale blonde with some golden highlights, the Mimosa diamonds is a beautiful champagne color. The bright white in it really highlights its golden hues. It’s a really good looking, top shelf concentrate. The nose on it is mostly on the limonene/pinene tip, and also has a slight eucalyptus aroma. It also kind of smells like Tiger Balm. You know that old school stuff for muscle aches? I haven’t thought about that stuff in years, but that’s what this sort of reminds me of. The hit is mouthwatering. I mean it literally made my mouth water and gave me a nice punch to the lungs with substantial expansion that got me coughing pretty hard and gave me an instant head change followed by shoulder dropping relaxation and cerebral euphoria. This one is a homerun for concentrate lovers.
#4 Sugar Diamonds (Double Down Dabs and Rams Head collaboration)
I’m already excited to try this one because the last Double Down Dabs and Rams Head collab was amazing! They’re both crushing it hard. Hats off to you guys for setting the industry standard. This platinum blonde colored Sugar Diamonds is a visual stunner, and the nose has a slight hint of a gas/fuel like terpene profile. I can’t wait to get this in my lungs and see how it feels. Here we go…It hits you right in the sinuses and gives you a little terp sneeze. You can feel it all through the nose, eyes, and forehead. It offers a focused, cerebral euphoria. It’s great if you want to get into a creative project or just zone out to some tunes. This one is all about the head. You’ll almost immediately feel your eyelids get heavy and your mind start to drift off…It really gave me the munchies too, and I don’t get the munchies very often. A Dr. Pepper freeze from Braums sounds amazing right now. Huge thanks to Doc Ferguson for bringing some bangers this month. I really enjoyed them and I actually really needed the time out from dealing with all the METRC bullshit.
Before we wrap it up I want to thank everyone for coming out to the King Klick and Blaze Ya Dead Homie show at the Brickhouse. I had such a great time celebrating the launch of RX3 and R3M3DY GARD3NS with all of you and look forward to many more awesome events in the future.
ABOUT THE COVER
Shannon Seitter worked in conjunction with “The Happy Festival” to create this month’s cover of Herbage Magazine.
Shannon began a career in art at an early age self teaching to sketch..Shannon was inspired by the junior high art teacher. Shannon watched her paint across canvas and was awestruck by her ability to bring such beauty.
Shannon began a venture into painting. While beginning small and then grew through watching and observing other artists’ use of different mediums and techniques. Shannon began to grow a personal method of art.
After Shannon’s grandmother passed away, “I buried myself in my art and began to grow and use it not to just help myself through grief but bring beauty to others who also needed it. My art has been my passion.” Shannon has always amazed Herbage Magazine. “It is a beautiful and therapeutic way to express myself and bring additional beauty to the world. I love sharing my art with everyone and enjoy when someone connects to my art as I have. Each piece I create has a personal connection to me.”
Shannon’s hope is to bring more art to Oklahoma City and connect with more people who love the process of creation.
“I love working with other artists and bringing something new to life that didn’t exist. I find my inspiration in all things in life but from a new point of view.”
email@example.com | Facebook @moedartokc | Instagram moedartokc
ABOUT THE COVER
The Happy Festival originated when Brian Butler, Daniel Stone, and Jason Smith, along with support from their spouses Katie Forehand, Lani Stone, and Miranda Smith, came together to bring a festival to Oklahoma to celebrate and honor their dear friend Happy Patel.
Patel was popular among his friends, who called him Happy. He came to the US as a student in 2009 with his twin brother Akash Patel. He was a co-founder of the garment company What’s Happy Clothing. Patel also worked to promote events, and local clubs in Oklahoma City. This loss devastated Happy’s community. Happy hosted “Life In Color” paint parties as well as other Electronic Dance Music (EDM) shows.
Happy was friends with DJs such as, world renown, NGHTMRE. He actually managed a few of his own. He even had an iconic t-shirt and hat that read Happy. To this day, people from all over the country still wear them.
His twin brother Akash started a foundation called Happy World Foundation after Happy’s death. Happy Festival is donating $1 from every ticket transaction to this foundation. GO HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS
The Budtender Diaries – Building Trust
by Anna Ervin
I think that “I don’t know” might be some of the most unappealing words you could hear come out of a budtender’s mouth. Sure, we all have to use them at times, and hopefully we follow up with a quick “but let me find out for you,” before proceeding to dig for more details… but what happens when those details aren’t readily available to us? Or we’re fed misinformation about the products we’re being asked to sell? I’m convinced that there is no greater shame than being unable to answer a question a patient has asked about the medicine they choose.
I’ve always been naturally self-competitive, so this kind of setback has been a difficult pill for me to swallow. There have been occasions that made me want to melt into a puddle of embarrassment on the dispensary floor after a patient left without making a purchase. This has little to do with monetary loss for me. Sure, I would want the dispensary I work for to succeed, but at the end of the day the thing that gets me is knowing that I failed to make the process of shopping for medicine easy and transparent for my patients. Looking back at a time when I was just a patient, I can remember feeling pretty discouraged when the people selling me medicine weren’t able to answer my questions about where it came from, or how it was cultivated or processed. I’m now positive that they felt the same.
I think I speak for most budtenders when I say that we want our customers to leave happy, empowered, and informed. At the end of the day, we need our patients to trust us, and the source of that trust traces back to both our own responsibility to stay informed, and our relationships with the brands that stock our shelves.
Now, I’m not here to whine about the issues I see without proposing at least a few ideas for solutions. I don’t have the type of brain that allows me to recognize a problem without coming up with a million ways to solve it. At the same time, these are just ideas. The goal is simply to offer a new perspective. Hopefully, this is only the beginning of the conversation. So where do we start?
Last month the focus was how cultivators and processors could better provide the resources and tools budtenders need in order to create a solid bond with dispensaries. This month, I’m turning the tables, but that doesn’t mean that both sides of the industry won’t find a little insight here.
I’ve said this before, and I will continue to reiterate for the rest of my career, but it is a budtender’s responsibility to continuously educate themselves about industry standards, as well as the science that goes into cultivation and extraction. I know this is a daunting task for some (like me). So instead of droning on about topics I don’t fully understand (yet), today I’m offering a list of tools budtenders and dispesaries can equip themselves with in order to build a foundation of trust and transparency, furthermore empower their patients to make educated choices when shopping for medicine.
Easily Accessible Lab Results
I know this seems obvious, but hear me out. I have worked in one dispensary, so I can’t speak on how many of the others operate. However, I will say this, it is gut-wrenching how grateful my patients were that I actually had test results on a shelf behind me for literally any of the products they asked for. This shouldn’t be something patients are surprised to see, it should be something they are used to. Having lab results that are easily accessible not only provides valuable information for patients that understand those results, but it gives budtenders a tool to help them sell products they may not know as much about.
Understanding Cannabinoids and Terpenes
Buy a poster for reference, make flash cards, do whatever you need to do, but learn your cannabinoids and terpenes. Though research is sparse, and we’re only just beginning to understand the effects these components contribute, this is hands down one of the most useful tools you could utilize to help you recommend products to patients. The most important thing to remember is that the research that’s currently available is just a starting point. Cannabis affects everyone differently, so while you might begin by explaining that terpinolene can provide energy and focus for some, you would also benefit from explaining that it can invoke anxiety or even sedation in others. This level of transparency with your patients not only empowers them with useful knowledge about cannabis, but it inspires them to pay closer attention to how different components of the plant benefit their experience or overall health.
Knowing the Right Questions
Rather than getting caught off guard on the sales floor, equip yourself with the knowledge your customers may seek before the products you sell even hit the shelves. What were the cultivation methods used? Processing methods? Are the extracts full-spectrum, distillate, or some form of isolate? Were solvents used in extraction? Are the products single-sourced or did they come from a collective of licensed cannabis businesses? The list could go on. These may be a bit on the extreme end, but there’s nothing worse than being surprised by a question that indicates your customer knows what they’re talking about. Talk to your cultivators and processors. Even if you’re not entirely sure what you’re asking yet, keep asking. I promise most of the people investing their time and livelihoods into cannabis are eager to share their expertise with you– and if they’re not, you should definitely ask more questions.
Building trust with our patients begins by building a foundation of trust in our cultivators, processors, employers, and ourselves. Put yourself in a patient’s shoes (this shouldn’t be difficult for most of us). Wouldn’t you want to purchase products from someone who takes the time to educate themselves and research what they’re selling? What are your thoughts? Let me know!
The Budtender Diaries
A monthly column which aims to shed light on important topics within the cannabis industry, and invoke positive change by inspiring empathy, awareness, and independent thinking. If you are a member of this community, you have the potential to help create an industry that benefits both patients and the makers of their medicine. If you have questions, stories, or topics you’d like to add to the conversation, please submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t Judge A Book
by Charles “Uncle Chuck” Duncan
When asked to list famous cannabis users you will typically hear names like Cheech & Chong, Jeff Spicoli, Eric Foreman, Tom Petty, Snoop and Dre. There are currently many, many more celebrities (and fictional characters) that can stand in the green spotlight more comfortably(numb) than any time in recent history. Not since the early days of jazz or the later days of the summer of love, have so many famous people been ok showing their love for the herb.
I sincerely hope that this time around we evolve and acknowledge those among us that consume cannabis and are not necessarily the stereotypical“stoner”. As an advocate, it would make my job a hell of a lot easier if cannabis didn’t have the “dazed and confused” stoner persona. Of course, that laid-back attitude also helped grow the many grassroots programs that have helped propel legal cannabis across the nation. It’s 4:20 somewhere, right?
There are many problems with letting stereotypes be accepted as fact. People who smoke cannabis are lazy and have brain damage. People with depression are always sad and should just get over it. People with anxiety just want attention. These are no more true than are the claims that cannabis is a gateway drug and leads to hard drug use. None of that is true. But people believe it. And a lot of times the same people I meet at one of my classes or out advocating. You can’t believe the misinformation that still exists out there. Stereotypes don’t help.
So how do we fight against misinformation? With facts. There is more data coming out every day to help you in informing the public on the benefits of cannabis. I would argue that informing people about the benefits and advocating for its open legalization are two separate battles. One to win the hearts and one to win the minds. It’s also extremely important that we do not provide rumors or sales hype as facts. This just feeds into the hands of those who still want cannabis to be controlled and/or illegal. Cannabis has enough beneficial properties that it shouldn’t need fake news.
Testimonials are also important. Not just in the fight for legal cannabis but also in the battle against stereotypes. We need to hear from the surgeons and scientists who use cannabis. We need to hear from the moms and dads who use cannabis and still keep the family running. The cannabis users who hold down a 40-hour-per-week, or more, job. Speak up. Grandma enjoys a joint before bed, you say? Awesome. Let’s tell people about it.
Like announcing you are gay (or a vegetarian), announcing you use cannabis might shock people in your family or circle of friends. But it’s time to take a deep breath and inhale some cannabis education classes, like the ones I give at theuccc.com or at your local dispensary. Combine that with your personal experience and get out there and tell the world that you use cannabis and it helps you live your best life. If everyone did that, we would legalize cannabis and smash generations of stereotypes at the same time. A Puff Puff Win if I ever heard one. Thank you again my friends for joining me in my conversations on cannabis. Let’s keep the conversation going. Cannabis legalization on a federal level is within our reach. But there are still many hurdles. Hurdles your testimony can help us jump. Until next month, remember, Educate and elevate.
Cannabis and the Nervous System
By Dr. Pepper Hernandez ND, Ph.D., CTC, CNHP, NHC
Board Certified and Award-Winning Holistic Health Practitioner
When discussing the relief can have on the nervous system we need to first begin with how the
nervous system works and how cannabis can affect that. To begin with, electrical impulses and
neurotransmitters are used by neurons in the brain to interact. The nervous system is a complex
network of nerves and specialized cells known as neurons that send and receive messages
throughout the body. The nervous system, as you may know, is divided into two components.
The peripheral nervous system, which contains the nerves and ganglia on the outside of the
brain and spinal cord, is the initial component. The brain, cranial nerves, and spinal cord make
up the central nervous system. CBD has been shown through studies and extensive
studies to protect the neurological system in a variety of ways.
Trauma, extreme stress, infections, degeneration, congenital difficulties, structural defects,
tumors, blood flow disturbance, and/or autoimmune disorders can all be the cause or can
contribute to a central nervous system disorder. There are various nutrients, foods,
practices, and meditations that can assist to regulate the neurological system, in
addition to cannabis. I know this very well as I have spent the majority of the last decade
learning about how to heal myself.
Central nervous system disorders are a large spectrum of diseases that affect the brain or
spinal cord. Seizures (which I am quite familiar with), cancer, inflammatory illnesses, arthritis,
schizophrenia (and other mental disorders), depression, and neuropathy are just a few of the
numerous forms of central nervous system disorders. While central nervous system illnesses
differ widely, they all result in a loss of adequate, undamaged nerve cells. Headaches, tension,
weariness, tingling or loss of feeling, muscle weakness, loss of sight or double or blurred vision,
memory loss, reduced mental capacity, lack of coordination, tremors, and back pain are all
common symptoms associated with central nervous system problems.
A fatty acid called amide hydroxylase (FAAH) exists in the human body, and it is an enzyme that
breaks down the neurotransmitter anandamide, which is related to the neuronal creation of
motivation and pleasure in cannabis. CBD inhibits FAAH in the body, resulting in greater levels
of anandamide, which binds to Cannabinoid type 1 receptors naturally (known as CB1). These
are primarily found in our brains and neurological systems. There are at least 85 different forms
of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, including CBD and THC. This has the effect of calming
the nervous system and assisting it in regaining its equilibrium. CBD effectively promotes
the production of 2-AG, an endocannabinoid that stimulates both CB1 and CB2 receptors
(known as CB2). These receptors are important for mood, memory, hunger, sleep, and inflammation reduction in the human body. As a result, CBD topical therapies have been known to help lower brain inflammation linked with autoimmune illnesses, which can lead to fatty coating damage in neurons.
Neuropathic pain is produced by injury to the somatosensory nerve system, and reducing
inflammation in the brain may be utilized to treat it. Cannabis has been demonstrated in studies
to have neuroprotective properties and to maintain brain and spinal cord health, which aids in
the treatment of a range of central nervous system illnesses. Cannabis cannabinoids (such as
cannabidiol CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol THC) have been demonstrated to protect neurons
and astrocytes from injury, control inflammatory responses, and aid in neuroregeneration.
CBD, like THC, is a primary cannabinoid present in cannabis, however, it lacks the euphoric
characteristics of THC. As a result, it’s ideal for individuals who, like myself, have a life that
requires complete concentration. The full whole plant, organic CBD attaches to the
cannabinoid type one receptor in the brain, thus it doesn’t produce any of the “altered”
effects that THC does. My anxiety and nervous system issues were successfully treated
beginning with a CBD dosage of 20-40 mg.
Please with your physician to learn what options are available to you. This article’s content is
solely for educational purposes. Before starting any new diet or lifestyle change, consult your
knowledgeable primary health care physician, raw food nutritionist, or other health care expert.
BONUS: To help the central nervous system, it is recommended that you consume magnesium-
rich meals on a daily basis. Magnesium-rich foods include the following:
*Cocoa: A 3.5-ounce serving of dark chocolate has nearly 500 mg of magnesium.
*Fruit: Banana, apricot, avocado, melon, plum *Nuts: Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts
*Legumes: Peas, lentils, tempeh
*Cereal: Brown rice, millet, oats
*Seeds: Pumplin, sesame
*Potatoes: Red, fingerlings, purple Peruvian
*Turkey Bone Broth (has the highest amount of tryptophan)
Other therapeutic herbs, like cannabis, have calming effects on the nervous system and can
aid. At night, try combining them with your CBD concentrate or tea mixture. Here are a few
Cognition, or mental functioning, such as concentration, decision-making, problem-solving
ability, reasoning, and learning, is obviously critical. Here are the top ten foods for brain and
nervous system health that have been shown to aid cognition:
*Dark green leafy vegetables
*Omega 3 fatty acids
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. The information provided is
derived from research gathered from external sources. Please check with your Cannabis
Educated Primary Health Care Physician or Cannabis Therapy Consultant before beginning any
new diet or lifestyle change.
Dr. Pepper Hernandez ND, CTC, CNHP is a Naturopathic Nutritionist, Cannabis Therapy
Consultant, and the Founder and Education Director of the Cannabis Holistic Institute. To find
out more about her private practice, educational programs, videos, and other offerings you can
find her on the massive inter-webs, social platforms, or at drpepperhernandez.com.
Go forth, Go Cannabis…
About the Cover
A gifted young artist from Serbia is taking social media by storm with his oil pastels of leaf-munching
giraffes, basking butterflies, moonlit waterlilies, poignant portraits and soulful-eyed dogs. With tens of
thousands of followers and over a million “likes”, what Viktor Bevanda is accomplishing with his striking
use of color is extraordinary, especially when you consider that he’s only 13, non-verbal and autistic.
Viktor was diagnosed with autism at age 5, about the same time his parents became aware of his
emerging artistic talent. “It was heartbreaking knowing that he would be different from his peers,” said
Viktor’s mother, Andrea. “But my husband, Boris, and I were committed to giving him every
opportunity.” And that meant eventually immigrating to America where they could find many more
resources for autistic kids.
After a lengthy immigration process, the family finally arrived in the U.S. settling in Aventura, Florida, in 2018. “We absolutely love it here,” said Andrea, a former marketing executive, whose husband works as an elite tennis pro and founder of Bevanda Tennis in Aventura. As for Viktor, his daily learning limitations are continually being eclipsed by his immense creative genius. As with many kids, his drawings over the years have been largely influenced by the cartoon characters he watched on TV. And then at the height of the pandemic in 2020, Andrea, who homeschools her kids, decided to try something new. “I wanted to see if I could channel his art into different directions, so I presented several pictures and asked him to choose one to draw. The result was a miracle on paper,” she said. “What’s also amazing is how effortlessly, nearly automatically he makes strokes and selects colors without hesitation or second-thoughts.”
The breadth of his original works using oil pastels quickly expanded to lush landscapes, whimsical
underwater scenes, sailboats on turbulent seas, fabulous animal art, including horses, eagles and
flamingos — even portraits of Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein and Marilyn Monroe. As his portfolio
continued to expand, Andrea created a website to showcase and sell his art. She also established a fast-
growing social media presence for Viktor.
And while Viktor has no idea how much people love his art, she says he appears happy when creating.
“Our hope is that he has a future in art ahead of him.” And if the enthusiastic reaction to his work is any
indication, that future is rapidly approaching. As one client of his art put it, ‘He proves Autism is no
barrier to creativity. He has an extraordinary ability to focus on detail and understand how colors
To view Viktor’s latest creations, or purchase an original work or high-quality print, go to vichysart.com.
Thank you again:
Andrea Bevanda-Kun, Viktor’s mother
Boris Bevanda Viktor’s father
Thoughts from the Okie-verse
A lot of people spend time figuring out who they “really” are…
I think we shouldn’t let who we are get in the way of who we are trying to become.
I wonder if self-forgiveness & acceptance is a direct path to motivation & growth?
I think only astronauts blast off…. we have all been blasting in.
Don’t sweat the petty things, just pet the sweaty things.
The Cannxiety Chronicles part 3
By Charles “Uncle Chuck” Duncan
Last time I discussed how cannabis and anxiety interact. It’s something I feel so strongly about, I named
an Expo after it, “Cannxiety 2022”. A pandemic of sorts is exploding as new cases of anxiety and
depression arise. Both of which are woefully misunderstood and growing in numbers with every new
mandate. Some people actually think depression and anxiety are the same thing. While they do both
have certain symptoms in common, they ARE NOT the same thing. One thing they do have in common
though, and that is cannabis can be successfully used to help certain people battle the symptoms of both
Depression is almost the opposite of Anxiety in one way. While one of the major symptoms of Anxiety is
increased breathing and heart rate, depression sometimes brings on fatigue and loss of interest in
activities. Cannabis can help with both.
Depression, like Anxiety, is not something you “cure”. What works for some doesn’t always work for others. The symptoms of depression affect everyone differently and at different levels of intensity. It’s so dynamic that even what worked for you once may not work the same again.The best approach is layering your medication when dealing with your mental health solutions. A variety of therapies help you stay focused while also providing activities and habits that can help lower the intensity of future symptoms.
Those layers of depression therapy should include some form of the following:
1. Establish a line of communication with a mental health professional. This could be a counselor or therapist available through your school, workplace or church.
2. Find natural foods that promote natural energy like bananas, oatmeal, dark chocolate and water to fight fatigue.
3. Track your symptoms and how you experienced and dealt with them in a journal. Include
remedies that reflect both mental and physical solutions. This will help battle “loss of interest”, a
common symptom of depression.
4. Take a yoga class to help fight low self-esteem.
5. Volunteer. Helping others is an amazingly powerful therapy in itself. Whether it is helping the local
food pantry or public charity event, the time spent focusing on others can help increase your own
sense of hope and worth.
6. Consider including cannabis in your therapy regiment. CBD, THC and many other cannabinoids
found in cannabis have shown to be a powerful weapon when fighting symptoms of depression.
Symptoms like fatigue, irritability, low appetite, sleeping disorders and excessive worrying can be
successfully battled with proper cannabis therapy.
The reason cannabis is successful in battling depression is based on the same model most
pharmaceutical companies use. The manipulation of dopamine and serotonin in the body. This is done at
a cellular level and takes place in the central nervous system. The normal neuron to neuron
communication that’s responsible for releasing and limiting how much dopamine and serotonin we get to
use. Prescription drugs do this with SSRI or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. They literally stop
the body from reabsorbing some of the serotonin released in an effort to increase its usage and thereby
reverse your depression. Cannabis uses chemicals, namely THC, to do basically the same thing. But
cannabis does it naturally. This model of cannabis compounds known as cannabinoids and their
relationship with the central nervous system is the basis of the endocannabinoid system (The ECS).
Teaching others about cannabis works and specifically how it interacts with symptoms of Anxiety and
Depression is the sole focus of Uncle Chuck’s Cannabis Camp (The UCCC). Come visit us at
Next month I will cover the importance of understanding the symptoms of Anxiety and Depression and
your ability to tell your story. We each have our own story and they are as important as they are unique.
Fear and embarrassment often hold us back from receiving the help we need and living our best lives. I
will be using this to tell my personal story in hopes that it inspires others to do so as well.
By Carisa Rowe
On the east side of Lake Texoma, in a small Oklahoma town just a few miles north of the Texas border, Abraham and Me- linda Evans are shaking up the cannabis industry. This entre-preneurial duo has dedicated themselves to sharing what they genuinely believe is God’s medicine. Southeast Oklahoma has been the Evans’ home for a decade; they moved back to the region to care for Abraham’s grandmother when her health was wavering. It was the decision to come home for the family that sowed the seeds for Elevated Native, the Evans’ booming dis- pensary located in Calera, OK.
The story begins in 1998 when Abraham moved to Colorado. The timing of the move put him in the perfect place to witness the birth of the state’s medical marijuana industry. Along this leg of his journey, Evans was still a recreational cannabis user – one who was always seeking a bigger or better high. His ap-preciation for the plant and its hallucinogenic effects eventually led him to a colleague who was making a powerful cannabis concoction known as “phoenix tears.” Phoenix tears did not look like weed but he took some of the dark, tar-like substance with him and shared it with friends. Evans emphasizes that they partied all weekend with concoction, experiencing intense highs from heavily the concentrated tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the thick, earthy goop.
Abraham returned to his friend searching for more and explained how they had partied all weekend and felt amazing.
Evans’ colleague called him an idiot. He explained that Phoenix Tears were medicine. Evans learned how highly concentrated cannabis oil was being used to treat cancer and other illnesses. Stories of natural healing and wellness without pharmaceutical side effects converted Evans’ mindset about cannabis. He stopped viewing it as a party drug and started respecting it for its infinite health applications. In fact, Evans set out to make the medicine accessible to everyone.
One night as he was picking through a bag of flower to recover shelf-worthy buds, Evans realized that he could do something with the unsellable trim and larf (airy and loose cannabis flowers) and he decided to go into the concentrates business intent to make more Phoenix Tears. The concentrates operation kicked off with KitchenAid appliances and before long, it dawned on Evans that he could help even more folks by reducing his cost to manufacture. Before long, Evans and a couple of friends were in the cultivation business. The operation began in a log cabin where Abraham willingly slept the couch and floor so that the bedrooms could house grow setups, but the
arrangement came to a halt when his grandmother’s health began to fail in 2012. Evans, now married to Melinda, returned to Oklahoma and hung up his hat on the cannabis industry. Within a few years of making the faithful journey home for family, the state began to buzz with talk of a medical cannabis market of its very own.
After Oklahoma legalized cannabis for medical applications in 2018, Evans prompted his grandmother to try a tiny dose of a compound known as RSO, or Rick Simpson Oil. The dose helped her sleep better than she had in ages and it helped her manage the pains that accompanied her every day. Now in her late eighties and a cannabis connoisseur in her own right, Grandma Marlene calls weed “a cure all.” In fact, it was Grandma Marlene who encouraged Abraham and Melinda to open a weed store in Calera. It was through her blessing and daily prayer that they created and opened Elevated Native. The shop was built on three founding principles: faith, experience, and community.
Those principles are imbued in the very bones of their shop. During the renovations for Elevated Native, the Evans’ inscribed Bible verses on the studs and support beams. Patients comment often that the store feels safe and comforting and the Evans know that it is because they are shrouded in faith. Melinda and Abraham are proud to have a nurse practitioner, Emily Ault, on staff to guide patients in their treatment choices. They are also proud of Tara Dollar, their resident social media expert,
and a patient advocate of the highest caliber. The Elevated Native team offers their patients a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding cannabis and its therapeutic applications. Their approach to education and accessibility sets them apart from their peers.
Accessibility is a major concern for the Evans.’ It was early in his journey with Phoenix Tears, now most known as RSO, that Abraham resolved to bring the medicine to as many people as possible by making it affordable. With the official grand opening of Elevated Native taking place on April 1st, the cannabis couple has managed to amass a vast selection of flower for its patients and a wide variety of other medication options including concentrates, topicals, edibles, and tinctures. In the pursuit to enrich their community through cannabis access, the Evans’ have developed some incredible relationships with local cultivators. Those community ties have paved the way for Elevated Native to be Oklahoma’s “Home of the $100 Ounce”. The store currently boasts more than fifty varietals of flower, many
of which fall into the store’s $100 price category.
Having a large variety allows them to address a wide number of medical concerns. They actively seek new flower based on its therapeutic effects. One of their most in-demand flowers is “University of Washington,” a low-THC, high terpene varietal that is rumored to have been stolen from a research lab on the campus of UW. Melinda extols it for its migraine-busting power as well as its ability to stave off menstrual cramps. Other patients have exclaimed its efficacy against Fibromyalgia pain. The Evans are currently searching for veteran-friendly varietals
such as Harley Quinn, 3 Bears OG, and Spec Ops, all of which have been shown to be beneficial in treating PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
With a tiny seed of faith, unknowingly planted in 2012, The Evans’ have managed to sow a field of opportunities for their patients and colleagues. They continue to expand their inventory – aiming to always keep a rotation of two hundred varietals on shelf. They continue to expand their network, building relationships that provide penny RSO programs, food, and clothing drives, and so much more.
Exploration of Minds
Neurodivergence & Cannabis
By Kathy Barker,
After putting myself under the microscope, as it were, I wanted to know more about the effect THC had on the neurodivergent community. After all, I couldn’t be the only one that ‘every day’ tokers would go wide eyed towards after hearing how I reactto Delta 9 (THC). For me it’s like Alice In Wonderland. Hallucinations and all, as I conveyed in a prior piece ‘Validation Station.’
My reaction also couldn’t be the only one being experienced within said neurodivergent community. ‘Weed’ isn’t that cut and dry. It’s a consciousness, a teacher, and it will express itself differently for everyone based on what an individual needs to learn or receive at the time.
Incidentally, when I first began my journey with cannabis It didn’t relate to me like it does in the present day. It was more grounded. If you enjoy word banks, these could adequately describe how I used to feel when I partook: [ puffy, soft, muffled, buffered, disarmed ]
It was good for me in the sense that it softened the effects of my being an empath. It softened the world. I feel EVERYTHING.
Or at least that’s how it seems. Going to Walmart? Yeah, that’s a hard no. I digress.
My hunt for other perspectives began with a good friend of mine from high-school named Phillip M. He experiences the world through a lens of Autism, or as he likes to call it, an “Aspy’s” lens.
I started by asking him how Cannabis made him feel? More specifically, what was different about his state of mind/being when he smoked, verses when he didn’t?
“For me it’s a crucial night night med. I have a vape pen that’s like 3%. My mind never stops. I cannot help but analyze everything that I see. If I don’t have 3-5 puffs before bed, it takes me forever to wind down. And it’s not like it shuts my brain down like Leo from ‘That 70’s Show’. It’s more like it opens up the filing system and allows me to store the information much more efficiently. My body may be vegged out for those 30 minutes, but my brain is in hyperdrive. I guess it allows me greater control and focus in that. Also, when I do partake the night before, it’s almost like I wake up with a clean RAM and hard drive.
Like I’ve got more energy and more social battery. In autistic words, I have more spoons,” Phillip explained.
I asked him if he could explain what “more spoons” meant, and he stated : “The idea of spoons is basically an autistic person only has so many spoons in their drawer. Depending on the individual, certain tasks use spoons. I.E. Taking a shower may cost a spoon to someone with touch sensitivity. Going shopping may cost 3-5 spoons depending on the stress involved. Busy Traffic, a crowded store, they moved stuff around in the store, etc. When you’re out of spoons, you’re done. Even stuff that you would normally enjoy doing, you can’t do. You’re completely overstimulated at that point. Now ‘stimming’ you may have a chance to regain a spoon or two just to finish the day, but that is even more individualistic.”Oh! For those of you who don’t understand what ‘stimming’ (self stimulating behavior) is, its repetitive non typical movements or sounds. It’s something to help cope and manage burnout or overwhelm. Now, when it comes to preferences on strain, Phillip conveyed he enjoys Indica to be sure when it comes to his neurodiversity. Sativa was only used for more spiritual practices. As he awesomely put it: “It’s like windex for my monocle over my third eye. It’s a quick cheat if my mind is a little cloudy.”
For him, there wasn’t much of an unpleasant experience with any method of partaking so far as he could tell. He had “good friends that actually cared and made sure the dosing was right with edibles.” he went on to explain that they made sure he waited to feel the effects before trying more.
Now taking a slight detour from THC and bringing up CBD, Phillip commented that he loves that cannabinoid too! Dealing with many sports injuries, it takes his usual 3-5 pain level down to a 0.
It doesn’t have much change on his mental state other than the euphoria of not being in constant discomfort. Not a bad benefit, I’d say.
It’s beautiful to get an up close look at the nurturing qualities Mama Gaia can offer through something as simple as a plant called cannabis. It’s been so misunderstood by so many, and finally it’s being given the opportunity to show how much help it can offer to every kind of community.
Thank you Phillip! And thank all of you for believing!
By Kathleen Barker
It’s the middle of the day and suddenly you can’t help but notice a sensation of anticipation.
Something is different. Something’s headed your way and somewhere in your mind you get the
strangest feeling akin to “Ah, finally.” upon opening the curtains you squint and ask yourself,
“What the F***”
Dearest Daring Divine,
Many channelers and QHHT practitioners across the world have spoken about something
commonly referred to as ‘The Event.’ or ‘The Great Solar Flash.’ A cyclical evolutionary
occasion so grand, that it will act as a catalyst for literally shifting the planet from third
dimensional frequency to 5th dimensional frequency. It only happens every 26’000 years, so
this will be our first time being able to see it! Believe me when I tell you, it is nothing to be
feared. It will be a literal splitting of vibrational densities. No more fear. No more lack. No more
wasting unreasonable and unnecessary amounts of energy to have the bare minimum for
survival. These dark tyrants who sit on a “Golden” hill while we try and keep our head above the
surface will not survive the paradigm shift and new energies. For it is centered on LOVE,
compassion, and community.
These solar flares and flashes are already occurring now in smaller scales to prepare us for the
larger wave that is on it’s way. No firm date has surfaced, but many feel 2024 is the year. There
were other years that were felt to have been the time such as 2012 or 2020. And for some
people it was. There are many who left the third dimension behind, as the event has already
happened for them. Remember, Time isn’t linear, it’s more like a spiral!
Some precursors that have been mentioned are increased turmoil and fear within the people
we’re all already pretty ticked off, but hey – Russia and Ukraine seem to be showing that it can indeed get worse. Some other signs are increased natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and severe storms. Even a small period of ‘blackout’ or ‘darkness.’
The ‘Event’ has been said to manifest as a beautiful wave, a wall cloud spanning miles high and
shimmering in gold-ish rainbow iridescence! For more of a scientific definition, it’s a massive fifth
dimensional gamma light ray that ejects from the sun which will evolve every aspect of
consciousness! For those who’ve done the inner work, it will feel like a blanket of love, knowing,
and bliss when it hits them. For others who are more ignorant to themselves and spirituality as a
whole, it may be very dazing. One thing is pretty understood though, it will be intense for all.
Throughout history, many cultures have spoken of The event through different ‘myths’ ‘prophecies’ or religious teachings that focus on the end times. Each perspective carries similar
markers and information. This topic is vast and rich, I highly recommend using your discernment
and taking what resonates with you while leaving what does not. Here are some helpful
Teachers with a wealth of information. Furthermore, just do some digging on ‘new earth’ and
‘the great solar flash’ for yourself! [Dolores Cannon] [Allison Coe] [Elizabeth April]
– The YOUniverse
What is the Safe Banking Act and Will Congress pass it this year?
by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish,
What is the SAFE Banking Act? The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act is a piece of federal legislation that was first proposed in 2017 by Representative Ed Perlmutter, a Colorado Democrat representing the 7th District in that state. It passed the United States House of Representatives a total of six times before being added to the House’s bipartisan America COMPETES Act, which was passed on Friday, February 4, 2022, largely along party lines with a vote of 222-210.
Despite having 40 bipartisan Senate cosponsors, the legislation has not been taken up for debate or a vote in that body, ever. In the past, Senate leadership has either refused to move SAFE Banking as a stand-alone bill or has permitted the SAFE Banking language to be removed as an amendment from other legislation in conference committee – a scenario that most recently occurred in December 2021.
While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has stated that federal legalization of marijuana is a priority for him, he needs 60 senators to support it in the 50-50 Senate, and advocates have been lobbying to legalize it for quite some time. So…time will tell.
Most beltway pundits agree that the best hope for federal reform in 2022 is SAFE Banking, reasoning that if Congress cannot agree on SAFE Banking, which has bipartisan support, then it is unlikely Congress will pass a bill ending prohibition. Still, with only two states
where there is no legal use, meaning cannabis is legal for adult and/or medical use in 48 of the 50 states (currently, Idaho and Nebraska are the only states in which it is not legal for some purpose), it really is a question of WHEN, not IF Congress will end the federal ban. In the interim, we have a document that has become known as the FinCEN Memo, issued February 14, 2014, by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The FinCEN Memo was intended to provide guidance for financial institutions that seek to provide services to marijuana-related businesses by clarifying Bank Secrecy Act expectations.
Generally speaking, The SAFE Banking Act would provide protections to financial institutions serving marijuana-related businesses in states where it is legal. The legislation would protect financial institutions from prosecution for money laundering (and potentially other charges) when they provide banking and other commercial services to marijuana-related businesses operating legally in states where marijuana sales are permitted. It would thus allow state-licensed marijuana-related businesses to engage freely in relationships with banks and other financial institutions, allowing them to accept credit-card payments, open checking accounts, and apply for loans.
An increasing number of banks and credit unions have started working with marijuana-related businesses in recent years. However, credit unions and banks that do choose to work with cannabis companies are forced to file onerous reports known as Suspicious Activity Reports with FinCEN.
Why do we need The SAFE Banking Act? Really, there are five reasons why the country needs it:
Marijuana-related businesses need and deserve the option to borrow money, and the ability to work with a bank will present more opportunities to obtain funding. The lack of lending opportunities currently available to cannabis businesses perpetuates high costs along with the lack of access to capital – facts that are increasingly widening the gap between large and small businesses in the cannabis space when it comes to chances of success.
2. CREDIT CARD ACCESS.
Customers would be able to use credit cards to purchase marijuana and marijuana-related businesses would have better ways to track spending and income.
3. DIMINISH CASH VIOLANCE AND ADDRESS PUBLIC SAFETY CONCERNS.
The massive amounts of cash generated by marijuana-related businesses pose a danger to the business owners and their employees, the customers and patients, innocent bystanders, and those transporting the cash, the last of which, unbelievably, now includes armored car companies who have basically been hijacked not by criminals but by the FBI and local law enforcement authorities who have seized cash by weaponizing civil forfeiture.
4. IRS PAPER TRAIL.
Cash transactions are easier to conceal from the IRS, while funds deposited in financial institutions are much easier for the IRS to track and trace. One would think that this alone would have motivated Congress to enact The Safe Banking legislation years ago. Not so.
Of course, The Safe Banking Act does not reconcile the obvious hypocrisy of the federal government in refusing to legalize cannabis while insisting that marijuana-related businesses pay federal taxes to the IRS, a fortiori that they do so without the benefit of the usual deductions afforded to every other state legal business thanks to Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code, which does not allow for ordinary and necessary business deductions. In fact, the only deduction allowed marijuana-related businesses is for the cost of goods sold. Other normal business expenses such as advertising, insurance, and salaries can be completely lost if not accounted for properly by a capable cannabis CPA. Notably, the lack of deductions results in potential tax liability on gross profit for marijuana-related businesses, instead of net profit—a situation that differs from that of any other state legal business in the country.
Nonetheless, if The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act finally makes it into federal law, it will certainly be a step in the right direction for marijuana-related businesses and the financial institutions that work with them.
So, what’s the take-away? Stay tuned. This year may be full of surprises when it comes to cannabis legislation, not only at the state level but perhaps on the federal front as well.
Information contained herein provides general information related to the law and does not provide legal advice. It is recommended that readers consult their personal lawyer if they want legal advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists or is formed between you and Ms. Parrish as a result of this article.
By Pamela Jayne
12 years and 1300 miles ago, before dabs existed and the idea of legally growing and using cannabis in Oklahoma was inconceivable, The Chronisseur debuted in Nug Magazine, a west coast cannabis lifestyle publication. At the time, Hopper was the founder of a referral-only medical cannabis collective in his hometown, San Diego, California. That was just a small part of his now 30 year career in the cannabis industry. He has been growing since 1989, has traveled the world as tour manager of Kottonmouth Kings and created the strain Kingsblend for them, grew the cover of High Times, was a weed tech for Cannabis Culture magazine before there was such a thing as a “cannabis stylist”, and a litany of other accomplishments that fill out the stoniest resume you’ve ever seen.
Part strain review and part insight into the current state of cannabis affairs and lifestyle, focusing mostly on local happenings, The Chronisseur was, and is, all about the love of the plant and the lifestyle it inspires. Now that Hopper is officially an Okie, The Chronisseur has found a home here at Herbage, where he will be reviewing strains and products from across the state each month.
A lot has happened since the last installment over a decade ago, but as much as things have changed, they have also stayed very much the same. Cannabis is still healing bodies and minds and uniting people from all walks of life, but it is not without challenges as the Oklahoma cannabis community navigates a Green Rush that has attracted national attention.
The local industry has sadly, but not surprisingly, been infiltrated by far too many get-rich-quickers and laughably inexperienced “master growers”, and will rely on its OGs to retain credibility and avoid implosion as the mainstream comes knocking. Hopper, despite his unfuckwithable credentials, insists that he is just an old school stoner who loves weed, and is grateful to be a part of the Oklahoma cannabis community. These days he’s one third of RX3 with partners, Ron and Johnny Richter (formerly of Kottonmouth Kings). They, along with another partner, Dusty, own R3m3dy Gardens in Tecumseh, an indoor and outdoor facility that focuses on both hydroponic and organic cultivation. Hopper also produces RHO (Rosin Hash Oil) a highly potent solventless concentrate that he created while living in Humboldt County, California. After turning down a few job offers in the Oklahoma market, Hopper knew the time was right to finally make the move when he and yours truly found out they were expecting a baby…not long after his 50th birthday.
Oklahoma has opened its arms to Hopper, and he is grateful for the warm welcome he’s received. He has been truly impressed by the cannabis community here, and loves seeing such genuine excitement in an industry that has become jaded over the years in other states. He recognizes a real culture being born here and is excited about his place in it and proud to be a part of it. Whether it’s in the garden, at the rosin press, at an event (He’ll be at The Brickhouse in Shawnee on 6/2 for the King Klick and Blaze Ya Dead Homie show), or right here at Herbage, Hopper is adamant about shining cannabis in a positive light and looks forward to connecting with others who feel the same way, so if you see him out and about, come up and say High!
A Face of a Million Faces
By Michael Kinney
Trying to pin Andrew Martin down on a simple answer can seem like trying to drink water out of a thimble. The co-founder of Sherweed Forest admits it is a problem, especially when trying to explain what his company is.
Martin sees what Sherweed Forest is, but also what it can become. “We are not a traditional mechanism. I would say Sherweed Forest is an idea,” Martin said. “I don’t mean that in a cheesy, branding way. We didn’t start as a formal organization. We began this process as two guys from the town of Mannford (Okla.) and essentially identified a problem in the market that we saw was unfolding. We saw it as a fateful problem. If it wasn’t solved, it could be the fate of access to cannabis.”
Yet, it all started as a simple project. He and Branden Chaney were looking to find some cannabis.
While that may seem easy these days with a dispensary being on almost every corner around Oklahoma, the two friends were actually looking for a special kind of cannabis.
Chaney, who is a plumber by trade, suffers from severe pain in his back. His doctors had prescribed pain blockers as far back as 10 years ago in the middle of the opioid epidemic. Yet, they did not solve his problem.
But then in 2019, the two friends started to look into medical marijuana.
“We were trying to find the right, discreet dosing item for him that would actually be consistent and get him where he needs to be,” Martin said. “We weren’t able to find it at first. That kind of set us off on this particular angle.”
If somebody was new to cannabis and its effects and how to use it and they wanted to use it for a specific reason, they would use something like weed maps. But according to Martin, those are based on a broken system.
They would also use strain names, which Martin says are completely made up by the seller and can change the name when it’s not selling well. That makes finding the right product difficult. Martin and Chaney saw a problem and decided to fix it themselves. They created Sherweed Forest with the idea of educating those who use medical marijuana on what is the right product for them and why.
Sherweed Forest now also includes Brook Miller, Kayvon Taghizadeh, and Tarra Quin.
Andrew added, “I realized instantly after I first introduced the Bazaar and partnered with Brook as the lead events coordinator that he was the second half that would make the entire thing possible.”
Andrew then informed me that Kayvon keeps all of them on their toes. They do not want to become an inspiration for his stand up comedy. “He is a technology repair specialist by day. It is that level of attention to detail that he brings to to team that we couldn’t live without.”
Tarra Quinn, Advertising Director for Herbage Magazine, is an amazing asset to the Sherweed team. “Personally, my son is a pediatric patient and this event allows me to medicate him monthly.” Tarra expressed her gratitude. “I also gain more knowledge by meeting the makers of his medicine.”
“We created Sherweed Forest to try and meet people and create an environment of the community,” Martin said. “We are just a collection of like-minded people who have a common cause. We create goals and try to accomplish them. There are opportunities for patients to find a product that almost feels made specifically for them. “What we are trying to do is make it easy for patients and for vendors to do this process, to be able to come together into a room and exchange information and education, and be able to try those products.”
From that concept, the Sherweed Forest’s Throw Down Bazaar sprung to life.
With the bazaar, Sherweed Forest partners with a local dispensary and holds a massive sale for low-cost cannabis and other products.
“We want to be able to give you a guide that can help you find that precision,” Martin said. “Whether you understand what that means or not.”
The first Bazaar was held in November of 2021. Since then there’ve been three iterations of Sherweed Forest Throwdown Bazar. The most recent took place in January. The event raised more than $23,000, which is by far the most product the Throwdown has sold in their short run. However, while Martin said the Throwdown was a success, they also had to deal with a few hitches that kept it from being a total success to some involved. A big part of that was not anticipating the large swell in attendance.
“So, I take the blame for it, but I also own it. I wanted it to work like that. It just grew too fast. This was only the fourth one,” Martin said. “And we’ve been doing them about every 30 days. And their only complaint is that it was just a pressure system at the dispensary level and a bottleneck. And that’s just due to the insane amount of response.”
One of the reasons for the Bazaar’s quick growth was due to the generosity of Randy Luck, formerly General Manager of Kind Love and now GM of Bodega Boyz. According to Martin, Luve attended the second Throwdown event and really liked the concept, but also saw the low number of sales being made.
“So then he offered us a 0% markup, and that’s actually what made it blow up and get to the $23,000,” Martin said. “And made it what it is to this day. We just accepted that offer. But we only really had contact with him when it comes to Kind Love. So, it’s a lesson we learned in regards to, we don’t know how much the owner is necessarily on the same page or if they were or weren’t. And just a lesson we learned is to dig and be thorough in regards to getting our hands on the owner of collaboration, to make sure everybody’s on the same page.”
One of the factors they will have to consider going forward is the size of the dispensary. When they first started, they could hold the Bazaar at smaller stores because they weren’t getting a ton of people coming through the door. But now, the Sherweed Forest group has grown so fast in a short amount of time, that a larger facility may be needed in the future.
“So that event went great. It just felt like we had a hard time knowing what was going on on the dispensary side,” Martin said. “And so we chose the small one because they would let us get behind the counter, in a metaphorical way. They let us work with them up to the point of the delivery of the product. And I was hoping that with my admin team, that would be helpful enough that a small shop would then be able to do the event.”
Sherweed Forest has learned from the mistakes they have made and hopes to make future events run more streamlined, or as Martin says, like Disney. “The simplest answer is the process to be pristine from the moment that a vendor, and I’ll talk in dual terms here, the moment that a vendor or a patient enters the experience, whether that’s walking into the bazaar as a patient, whether that’s beginning their correspondence with us as a vendor, our dream is for that to be like a Disney process,” Martin said. “You know how Disney runs like an oiled machine. They’re all about that experience and everything is dialed in. My dream and goal for the next one, what I’m working hard on right now to ensure it happens, is that every patient who attends the event feels welcome and able to meet the makers of their medicine.”
At the end of the day, it all goes back to the basic idea of educating people on the best cannabis and getting it at a lower cost. That has been the foundation of Sherweed Forest and Martin wants to make sure that is never forgotten.
“I want to be able to reach people where they’re at and with what they’re going through and where they are in life at this moment, and be able to come to their level,” Martin said. “I want this event to be able to find people where they are. It’s a free event. It always will be as long as I’m running it.”
Martin added, “We could not do this without the community. I myself am really just an artist who knows how to create expression and to generate awareness. I am here in cannabis because I am a lover of the plant.
The Budtender Diaries- Empower Through Education
by Anna Ervin
“Hi there! I just read your article in the newest edition of Herbage and it really made a lot of sense! We were wondering if you might have some insight for us as a producer/cultivator on how to better reach and connect with budtenders. We have had some ideas like giving out swag, but does something like that really work? Or it is more of a personal connection that will seal the interest. Thanks a bunch, also congrats on the new column, really love your work!”
Hello friends! Thank you for the feedback, I am so grateful to hear that my words were received well. I am also thankful you brought up such a great question. The relationship between cannabis brands and budtenders is a topic I’ve been eager to explore. I’ve seen many different sides of the industry, from production to sales, and finally, retail. I understand the dedication and time that it takes to cultivate medicinal cannabis, both the tenacity and psychology that go into sales and marketing, as well as the social awareness and constant industry research that fuel successful retail storefronts.
Retail is where I’ve found myself most comfortable recently, so I don’t pretend to understand the exact sciences that go into the process of cultivating or processing cannabis products. At the same time, I wouldn’t expect the average cultivator to fully comprehend the processes of marketing or moving products off the shelf. Each field requires its own set of skills and confronts a unique combination of challenges. That’s why I wanted to start this series; to bridge the gap and invite empowering and educational conversations to take up space in the industry.
From a budtender’s perspective, I see three essential tools that every vendor and cannabis broker can utilitze to help dispensaries move their products off the shelves… Because that’s the ultimate goal, right? The faster your products move, the sooner you’ll receive another order from inventory. I know that seems obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of brands I hear about that reportedly believe delivering their products is the final step in solidifying a spot on the sales floor. The problem is, this method isn’t sustainable. Sooner or later, orders stop flowing in because products that lack the necessary marketing tools and information sit stagnant on dispensary shelves.
So what are those tools, and how can they benefit vendors?
Budtenders Are Patients Too
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that the majority of people that make up the cannabis industry are also patients. If they aren’t, they probably have someone close to them who relies on cannabis for some sort of relief. In my opinion, this basic understanding is the key to empathizing with anyone you work with regarding cannabis.
Get to know the people selling your medicine. I carry a lot more confidence in the products I have been able to try firsthand. Samples are a great way to get into the dispensary, but once you are on the shelves, challenge yourself to actually sell those products to the budtenders first. If you can convince us to buy, you’re also empowering us to understand how to recommend that medicine to patients.
Empower through Education
Nobody wants to be bad at their job. A budtender’s responsibility is to understand the products they are selling, and for the most part, that entails a lot of industry and market research. When I am selling products that boast words like “organic” or “full-spectrum” but neglect to elaborate on what exactly those processes look like, I am forced to rely on a broader definition of those terms. Anyone reading this with an inkling of knowledge about cultivation or extraction likely knows that organic and full-spectrum can both look like a lot of different things.
I’m not implying that budtenders shouldn’t also actively seek out this knowledge, and the appropriate questions that we should ask vendors about their products is a topic I would love to explore further later on. The point I’m trying to drive home is that information and education go a long way on the sales floor. Give your partners in retail a reason to talk about your brand.
So what is the best way to get all of this information across to the sales floor? You could walk into the store and simply vocalize it, but if you’ve ever played a game of telephone as a kid you probably understand how spoken words often get lost in translation. Budtenders are often tasked with the daunting (but not impossible) task of remembering valuable information about each item they retail. In some cases, this can mean dozens of different brands or hundreds of unique products.
I often find myself looking for visual cues that help me relay information to the customer. So, when vendors bring in infographics, product flyers, and merchandise, I’m much more likely to spend a little more time talking about their brand. When I’m trying to move items that don’t boast as much information, I will typically look online for more resources, and I’ve been disappointed at times to find that some really great brands provide very little marketing material on their website or social media.
Visual representation is everything. Sure, swag and merchandise fall into that category, customers are more likely to ask about a brand if I’m wearing their t-shirt to work once a week, but I feel like the priority should once again lean toward the spread of information and education.
When you go the extra mile to understand your market (budtenders making up a good chunk of that), and provide valuable tools to educate and empower the sales floor, you are ensuring dispensary staff that this is a team effort, and that you understand your responsibility to help move the product beyond the point of delivery. I hope these thoughts have been helpful and have answered your question! As always, these are just my opinions, and I certainly don’t speak for budtenders, or the industry, as a whole. If you have any questions, stories, or comments about the Budtender Diries, please submit those to email@example.com
THC’s endocannabinoid counterpart
by Kevin Ferdowsian, JD
Kevin is an attorney, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and homeopathic practitioner. Kevin graduated from Duke University and OCU law, and lives with his wife Anna and two children, Ivan and Arthur.
Because cannabis sativa contains more than .3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is classified as a schedule I – status drug by the US federal government and is subject to a host of restrictions as a controlled dangerous substance. These restrictions have severely limited broad-scale rigorous studies on THC and its therapeutic value. That’s not to say research hasn’t been done. In fact, nearly $2 billion per year is spent to determine all the harmful effects of cannabis. The conclusion of our tax dollars at work? For people over eighteen, cannabis is relatively harmless.
So, we don’t have a lot of research on THC consumption in regards to therapeutic benefits. We do know some applications at this point; for PTSD, opiate addiction, and various neurological disorders to name a few. But there is growing evidence that THC and cannabinoids in general, possibly in concert (entourage effect), may have substantial therapeutic applications. These include alleviating symptoms from cancer, inflammation, blood pressure and heart rate disorders, metabolic disorders, fevers, locomotion disorders, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, colon disorders, reproductive disorders, bacterial endotoxicity, cirrhosis of the liver, sepsis, central nervous system disorders, and even aging. That is an extensive list of ailments for which THC may treat.
If federal research has not been funded, and even private research is so highly regulated, how do we know these potential applications? Basically, even though researchers are limited in their study of THC, there have been robust studies on its endocannabinoid counterpart: Anandamide. Anandamide (from the Sanskrit for “inner bliss”) is an endocannabinoid synthesized in all animals including primitive creatures, such as nematodes. It binds to the same receptor as THC (CB1R) and induces similar psychotropic effects. These compounds, though molecularly distinct, are pharmacologically similar. The list cited above is taken from recent studies on Anandamide; considering that THC mimics Anandamide and initiates the identical process, clearly future research should focus on THC as a therapeutic for many of these ailments.
As a co-owner of multiple cannabis businesses, I am interested in the advocacy of researching THC for its therapeutic value as well as its cultural acceptance. We all should be. THC, along with other cannabinoids, could open the door to accessing the endocannabinoid system, a fundamental governing system that appears to regulate the activity of every other physiological system.
Tarostrology | Aries Season
March 21 – April 19, 2022
by Anna Ervin
Welcome to my favorite season of the year, Aries season. Every March, whether the sun comes out or not, I crawl out of my winter slumber and come alive once again. The cards I pulled for my own placements this cycle seemed to carry an overall theme of stepping into my own power, taking time away from society’s hustle and bustle to focus on inner strength and growth, and continuing that theme, stop caring so much about what other people think. Easier said than done, right?
Remember that you can use your big four, or even the entire birth chart to give yourself a more in-depth reading. For a quick four-card spread, read your cards using the following placements:
Sun: Ego, the core of your being
Ascendant: Mask, surface value
Venus: Love, intimate relationships
Aries – King of Swords
Mental clarity, intellectual power, authoritative thought patterns. Firm and traditional ways of thinking.
Which comes first, the thought or the action? For most of the human race, the answer to this question is quite simple, but for Aries (myself included), it’s almost reminiscent of the old chicken-egg riddle. The king of swords, however, invites us to slow down and give a little more consideration to our thoughts. Perhaps they do come first, we’re just too hasty in our reactions to even notice them. Perhaps… they have a little more power than we realize. What can you learn this season from the role your thoughts play in dictating your actions? Could you afford to discipline the workings of your mind? Try taking control of your reality by shifting the narrative you feed yourself to one that boasts authority and power. “I am the protector of my thoughts, my goals, and dreams.” “I am in charge of the thoughts I allow to flow, the actions I allow to manifest, the reality I create.”
Taurus – Five of Wands
Conflict in energy and ideas, confusion, lack of understanding.
Something in your life isn’t quite flowing, Taurus, and it’s likely it involves the ideals of the people that surround you. This card is a clear indicator that the people and situations in your life are challenging your ideas. This could look like unsolicited opinions from those around you, opposition in the pursuit of your goals, or a sudden disruption of energy created by someone who just doesn’t understand you. It’s possible that those around you are not able to clearly communicate their feelings at this time, creating a lot of confusion around the conflict. Now, more than ever, stay true to your beliefs. If something in your life is working for you, it shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
Gemini – King of Wands
Leadership, strong vision, authoritative energy.
Dear Gemini, this is your season to get sh*t done. If you’ve been waiting for a sign to finally tackle that project, take off in your career, or fully embody your own entrepreneurial spirit, this is it. The king of wands is a clear indicator that you have tapped into your inner boss, and you may find that your leadership skills have been fine-tuned for the endeavors that lie ahead. The people in your life might look to you at this time for direction, and the universe is inviting you to share your unique vision with them. Right now, you have the determination and foundation to not only follow through but to create opportunities for those around you.
Cancer – Ace of Swords
Blessings in the form of intellect, a new perspective, mindfulness.
Have you ever heard the quote, “change your thoughts, change your world?” The ace of swords reminds my sweet Cancer friends of the empowerment they can find through mindfulness. New perspectives and thought patterns should flow into your life with ease at this time, inviting you to shift the narrative of your external reality as well. The only challenge here is asking yourself what kind of perspective and thought patterns you’re willing to entertain. What are those patterns trying to teach you? What sort of new information becomes available to you when you’re able to shift your perspective? There is something to be learned from everything right now. Keep your eyes and ears (and mind) open.
Leo – Queen of Swords
Boundaries, independence, intuition.
The queen of swords’ quiet, cold nature may not feel the most natural for fiery Leos, but I’ve never known a lion to back down from a challenge. This season brings lessons in the responsibility you carry to honor your limitations. While being the warm, inviting, happy-go-lucky character in everyone’s life has always been your pride and joy, you are now being called to take a look at the standards you hold yourself to. If you’ve been feeling taken advantage of, depleted, or overwhelmed, it may be time to reinforce some of the boundaries you hold within your relationships, home life, and career.
Virgo – Nine of Pentacles
Material abundance, success in home and career through spiritual awareness.
This month is all about enjoying the fruits of your labors, Virgo. We all know you’ve worked hard to earn the abundance that now flows into the areas of your life that earth signs covet the most: home and career. The nine of pentacles can also indicate success correlated to spiritual awareness and growth. If this has been a season of enlightenment for you, that newfound relationship with the Divine could be playing a beneficial role in your material world.
Libra – Ten of Pentacles
Wealth, inheritance, support through family
The ten of pentacles is always a good indicator for your material well-being. This month should bring financial blessings and abundance into your life, Libra. Sometimes an indicator that these valuable resources could come through your family or community, you can certainly expect to see you, and those in your life, finding a bit more comfort within the home when this card comes up. At the same time, you may feel a responsibility to help those in your life or give back to your community. You worked hard to achieve this success, Libra, and in my opinion, you’ve earned the right to share it however you choose. Never let anyone tell you what to do with that big heart of yours.
Scorpio – The Hermit
Solitude, stepping away from society, quiet
The hermit is a card that should feel familiar to many Scorpio placements. Stepping outside of society’s norms, taking time off for the sake of self-improvement and growth, and keeping a quiet, reserved attitude when necessary can be your greatest strengths. This month delivers an ideal time for you to step into a season of solitude and self-reflection, in order to improve yourself and your state of life. It’s okay to take some time for yourself, just don’t get too cozy in self-isolation. This is just a season.
Sagittarius – Six of Pentacles
Community, giving back
Fiery Sagittarius, the cards this month place emphasis on your community work or the energy you give to others. If you’re someone who always looks out for others and plays a major role in giving back to the community, are you ensuring that the scales are balanced? On the other hand, if you’re someone who hasn’t invested much time or resources in others, can you find a cause that piques your interest? Energy (time, resources, money) works best when it finds a healthy flow, so take a step back and ask yourself if any of these areas in your life have become stagnant.
Capricorn – Four of Swords
Sometimes we get so involved with the thoughts and worries occupying our minds, that we find ourselves overwhelmed and anxious. The four of swords reminds Capricorn placements that a little bit of quiet reflection can go a long way. Take a step back if you’ve been trying to tackle everything at once, and try to take it one step at a time. Practicing intention with your thoughts will help you build strong intellectual foundations that help you process and handle the hurdles life throws your way.
Aquarius – Four of Cups
Discontent, closed-heart, stubborn
Aquarius, the universe is offering you blessings in your love life and relationships, but you’re refusing to see them for what they are. If you’ve been praying for one specific outcome to happen, try to detach yourself and open your heart to new possibilities. These blessings may not look quite as appealing at first, but they offer important lessons and growth in love, intimacy, and emotional connection nonetheless. Perhaps the love or connection you seek can be found within you, rather than from others. Of course, it’s okay to expect and strive to achieve more in your relationships, just make sure you are still practicing gratitude for the little things you receive and learn about yourself along the way.
Pisces – The Chariot
Clear direction, intention, willpower
Sweet Pisces, this month the chariot invites a season of progress and potentially great success. Now, more than usual, your energy is perfectly focused and your vision is clear. Pair this wave of intention and determination with your natural ability to dream big and you’ll be unstoppable. This is a good time to really charge forward with your goals and plans, take action on a new project or life path, and trust your vision. The chariot reminds us that direction, discipline, and follow-through can help you build momentum and set you up for success.
Read more by @cannabanana__
Has Nature’s Key Cracked the Code?
Has Nature’s Key Cracked the Code?
By Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate
As a Caregiver for my pediatric child on the Autism Spectrum, I reach for Nature’s Key gummies every morning because I have come to rely on the consistency of their ratioed products. I understand that as we progress through our cannabis as medicine journey, it may become necessary to adjust one’s cannabinoid formulations and delivery systems. Due to my patient data journaling, with the cooperation of our support system, I found my patient’s response levels plateaued after roughly 6 months of consistent complex cannabis as medicine treatment. Upon switching to another brand’s formulation and titrating our consumption level I was uneasy about the at-home manipulation of that edible required to achieve our desired dose. My patient was now sleepier than expected during the day. When manually cutting an edible down I understand there is no certainty of milligrams from piece to piece; especially when recalibrating new-to-us individual brand formulations. I found myself in a Caregiver conundrum.
I was introduced to the Nature’s Key brand by fellow Caregiver Autism Mom, Tarra Quinn, of High Hopes. She shares, “My son Henry has Autism, ADHD and developmental delays and he struggles to regulate his emotions. I started Henry on the 25:5 Vegan gummies to help calm him down and give him some peace. The taste and texture are perfect for kids with sensory issues.” Tarra is on to something. My Spectrum kiddo also struggles with food aversions and enjoys the flavor of the Nature’s Key gummy, not to mention the quick dissolving Vegan gummy is gone before we know it and he is not left to endlessly chew as the minutes pass by. The gummies are manufactured at a ratio that we previously had to manipulate the other brands’ edibles to achieve. The Nature’s Key 3% variance guarantee gives me dosing confidence. In association with his nightly full spectrum tincture, the Nature’s Key Therapeutic gummy sets my child up for success every morning. We are receiving more gold star days and although they still happen, we are seeing less meltdowns and can mitigate them quickly.
I sat down with Nature’s Key CEO, Nathan Richter. He is kind, approachable, and matter of fact. He is a licensed Attorney in Oklahoma and Georgia and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma with a Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University School of Law. He is a US Army Veteran who also dabble in Genetics. Mr. Richter is committed to enhancing the quality of life for Oklahoma patients with wellness in all they do. While this may be true, the real key to his cracking the Oklahoma Cannabis market code is his recognition that he cannot do it alone. Refreshing, isn’t it?
Nature’s Key understands the value of forming healthy lasting vendor alliances by uplifting cannabis industry professionals – at all levels – through comradery and education. Nathan believes education equals trust. Their revolutionary Budtender University and patient outreach initiatives, including their Sleep Trials and Battle Buddy Trials, are second to none. Did you know Nature’s Key has generously given away over 20,000 Battle Buddy capsules during their trials? They are dedicated to fostering honest and transparent relationships with their consumers, many of whom are children and Seniors. Nature’s Key really does provide a product for every patient.
Partnering with Medical Advisor Dr. June Chin, Nature’s Key provides valued reassurance to Oklahoma cannabis as medicine patients that most Oklahoma brands cannot provide. Dr. Chin received her medical degree from Touro University in San Francisco and her BS in Nutrition and Food Science, Biochemistry from Cornell. She sits on many prestigious boards including the Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine and is the Chief Medical Advisor for CannabisMD.com. Dr. Chin has dedicated her medical career to finding effective, integrative, and holistic approaches to patient care.
Nature’s Key products are “backed by science and made with state-of-the-art precision” in their FDA certified, soon to be GMP certified, manufacturing facility. Their source material is provided in partnership with vetted isolate and distillate extraction partners who meet all of Nature’s Key strict requirements including COAs showing no less than 90% THC.
Recently I caught a Virtual Budtender session with Nature’s Key VP of Corporate Relations and Brand Management Joe Hager. Joe tells us, “There’s a Why for everything here at Nature’s Key.” He follows, “We aren’t the high-pressure sales team running around Oklahoma and believe our patients know best. We would put our products against anyone else in Oklahoma.” During his session Joe charismatically emphasizes the importance of titration and complex cannabinoid profiles and introduces some of the renowned Nature’s Key products. He is naturally animated and incites a smile. It is clear why industry professionals and patients trust Joe.
Since his return from Afghanistan, Mr. Richter has lost twenty soldiers to suicide. He tells us, “One life lost is way too many if it’s something we can help each other overcome.” Battle Buddy is a name recognized by Combat Veterans as one they can depend on at any turn of life. It is someone “who goes into the trenches with you and comes out of the trenches with you,” says Joe. Nature’s Key tells us the Battle Buddy THC-free capsules are a friend in your pocket- designed to temper your stress and “prevent spiraling out of control.”1
Nature’s Key patient Tarra Quinn shares, “I started using Battle Buddy when I was going through a stressful time in my personal life. I quickly noticed that my stress was easier to manage by taking the edge off and giving me some clarity throughout the day.” Nature’s Key understands that trauma rewires the brain. According to DomesticShelters.org, “For individuals who continually experience traumatic events, or who relive traumatic memories from their childhood as adults, this means the brain can rewire itself in such a way that sometimes causes us to feel overly stressed, even when there’s nothing overt to stress about.”2
The formula, of which Dr. Chin’s patients have seen impressive results for the last decade, is a blend of CBD, CBN, Ashwagandha, Lemon Balm, L-Theanine, and Ginseng, with the anticipated effects of reducing anxiety and mitigating symptoms of PTSD. The capsules are available in a two pack, a week’s supply, and a month’s supply. Nature’s Key wants us to know Battle Buddy and other products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
When it comes to Nature’s Key, wellness is decadent. Their team spent six months in R&D, working out the process and recipe for their delectable chocolate, including working with a food consultant offering 25 years’ experience with Hershey’s. Nature’s Key’s THC infused chocolate is available in 25mg two-piece and four-piece units. Their quality THC infused chocolate Brownies are available in 100mg and 500mg units.
Parents choose Nature’s Key Gummies because they offer only one gram of sugar with no sugar coating, no FDNC food dye, and no artificial colors. Created using state of the art equipment like Nature’s Key’s Servoform Mini depositor, they can produce 4,000 consistent gummies in 15 minutes. The gummies are available in micro, mixed ratios, and mega doses. These include the Therapeutic mixed ratios with a base level of 25mgs of CBD – coming soon in singles – in 1:1, 5:1 and 5:2. The Classic line is available in doses of 5-50mg of THC and comes in various flavor options. The 25mg Premium strain-specific line are formulated need-based gummies that come in catchy names like the cherryful Jumpstart Sativa, Sweet Dreamzzz Indica blended with 2mg Melatonin, Chill-axin Delta-8 and Oklahoma Sunrise CBD.
By way of their Key to Nature’s Blessings website, Nature’s Key also offers an extensive natural and CBD oil infused national product line including pet treats, migraine care, tattoo aftercare, beard balm, bath soak, essential oil inhalers and other wellness products engineered to ease the symptoms of life. Nature’s Key CBD products undergo the same rigorous testing as their THC infused products. With these careful testing standards, they can guarantee Nature’s Key products are 100% safe to consume.
The future is bright for team Nature’s Key and their patients with the exciting announcement of the Nature’s Key app, currently in development. The app provides patients with data-based assessment surveys “that can track, trace, and monitor their consumption and experience to find the dose that works for them,” says Richter. The Nature’s Key app is slated to drop Summer 2022. Could it be that Nathan Richter has found the key to cracking not only the code to our market but also – with the help of his valued network – our complex Endocannabinoid Systems?
Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate is a writer and Oklahoma Cannabis industry professional since 2018. She is a Certified Cannacian III and Trichome Institute Certified Cannabis Consultant with a “full spectrum” Postpartum Wellness background.
1 Nature’s Key Edibles. 2022. Battle Buddy — Nature’s Key Edibles. [online] Available at: <https://www.natureskey.us/battle-buddy> [Accessed 23 February 2022].
2 Kippert, A., 2022. How Trauma Rewires the Brain. [online] DomesticShelters.org. Available at: <https://www.domesticshelters.org/articles/health/how-trauma-rewires-the-brain> [Accessed 23 February 2022].
By Chet Tucker
After some discussions with Herbage on transitioning into a new column, we agreed that an open column around the freedom fight for our basic rights to cultivate and choice to medicate was a win-win. The column will sweep over a broad range of topics concerning the reversal of the century-long “laws” that were established for a myriad of reasons to the basic right to cultivate any fruit, vegetable, flower or weed. We’ve come to a point where we are awakening to the power of numbers and overcoming the stigmas that were built via the hypnotic propaganda machine. To “govern” the “mental” (“government”) is a calculated assault on our basic human rights to choose freely. We’ll dive deep into some “higher” thoughts and question the systematic thumbs that have been hovering over our natural born freedoms.
So, let’s dive into where we are today and then move back in time (with some sidebar musings along the way) to when no other man or woman could dictate our choice to Mother Earth. Today, we sit at a place where a majority of the United States of America have legalized cannabis in the medicinal or recreational form. As of the time of this article, 18 states (plus D.C.) are fully legal for “recreational” consumption. I won’t get too far off track but this is one of my personal WTF’s in a sense that it’s marked as “recreational” or “adult use” but alcohol doesn’t have any legal tags other than an age range which would be considered “adult use”. It’s been accepted for so long that it’s not considered “medicinal” or “recreational”. Obviously, cannabis has a proven medicinal track record so why categorize it either way unless you plan to further control and tax a medicine? With that, we have another 19 states that are medicinally legal for a total of 37 states – a landslide majority that should ratify on the base medicinal level.
So, at this point … why hasn’t it been decriminalized? Why has the federal government not descheduled the plant? It wouldn’t have anything to do with the weight of a pharmaceutical mafia and it’s pumping billions into the pockets of those that took oaths to serve the interests of the people? It wouldn’t have anything to do with the sweeping taxes (increased in nearly every recreational/adult program) earned by good ol’ Uncle Sam? It wouldn’t have to do with the incarcerations that siphon off billions of tax dollars to fund, run, and control corporate prison systems? Surely, it’s all done to help regulate the health of its citizens … and the answer is of course they control the health via controlling the substances deemed acceptable by the overarching (reaching) medical ownership.
We are just scratching the service of where plant based medicines begin flipping the tipping point and our birthrights are returned to choose, without penalty, that of which best suits our own bodies and minds. Should there be some regulation and policing of cannabis, I’d say yes. We certainly need to ensure that a product marketed as 20mgs of THC is properly processed and dosed so that there’s a controlled measurement and safety for those that are consuming cannabis. However, does that mean excessive taxes and a cap on how many personal plants we can grow in our own space? Allergies to peanuts, seafood, and things like tomatoes can cause more harm (and death) than cannabis but what strict laws are imposed to impede such growth or consumption? It’s not that far of a comparable stretch when you really stop to think. We’ll catch you next month as we dig into some of Oklahoma’s current laws and some of the bills that may impact us in the near future.
Triggers To Success In A Saturated Market White Barn Bud Ranch
Triggers To Success In A Saturated Market
White Barn Bud Ranch
by James Bridges
The Oklahoma cannabis market has openly worn the title “Wild West of Weed” for a few years now. Thousands of prospective entrepreneurs and marijuana advocates alike have rushed to the red dirt plains of this historically boom or bust state to try their hand at this so called “green rush”. Large multi-state operators and family farms alike have setup shop, and now more than three years into medical legalization the competition for market share has never been fiercer. For many investors in the space that may cause alarm, however the Elias Family and members of the White Barn Bud Ranch team seem to embrace it. “At the end of the day, our goal is to try and bring the highest quality raw medicine to the market. We believe there will always be a place for clean high potency cannabis.” Explains Eric Elias, head of sales and co-owner of White Barn.
Eric, and his brother Corey, never quite imagined they’d end up working together considering their drastically differing career paths. Eric has been a part of the home building industry in Tulsa for nearly 27 years, while Corey has been working in the IT world since its infancy.
“It all started with a simple phone call from my little brother,” Spencer Elias, Grower and co-owner of White Barn Bud Ranch explains while gesturing towards his younger of kin and fellow co-owner, Trevor Elias. “Yeah I’d started working up here for my Uncle Corey when he’d taken up this new grow business. We needed someone to help us get our flower onto store shelves and knew my brother had recently found a real passion for cannabis, so I called and asked if he wanted to come check the farm out.”
“I remember showing up to this rickety old red barn and giant white metal building sitting on a big plot of land just north of Tulsa. This wasn’t necessarily my first time in a commercial grow, but I remember being absolutely awe-struck by the size of the buds my Uncle’s team had been growing,” exclaims Spencer. There was a single flower and veg room at the time with much of the building still being finished out. He went on to describe these bottle sized buds but quickly changed to the issues that came with it. “They were just unmanageable plants, yes we were getting weights and the flowers looked incredible, but it wasn’t feasible and you couldn’t dry them properly. The smoke quality was taking a heavy hit because they were having to speed up the process to prevent potential mold problems. The flavor was just off.” None the less Spencer would still go out and find enough success selling the product that his parents began to take interest.
“My parents realized the passion I had for this plant, I’d been growing while I was at OU along with my roommate and next-door neighbor. My friends and I always had the grand plan of opening our own grow together since 788 had just passed. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to bring them along on this venture, but still do my best to keep in touch and am beyond thankful they were there to push me to follow my dreams.” Elias continued to follow his calling, relentlessly pestering his family to assist him in pursuing his own grow. His father expanded on, “he kept at us, Spencer was convinced he’d find a way to grow commercially. It was great to see him pursuing something he seemed to care so deeply for. There was just a new spark in him.”
When Corey’s farm reached the point that it needed to be producing more product the Elias families partnered up and rebranded the grow, known today as White Barn Bud Ranch. Spencer began his journey as the grower, while Eric and Trevor were laying the ground work on the road going door to door to build their brand. “Something a lot of people find unique about our grow is that we keep our point of sales very limited. The only way dispensaries or processors are able to purchase WBBR product is directly through my Dad or myself,” Trevor explains. It may seem a little old school to some, but the Elias family takes great pride in who they work with and want to be able to make those personal connections with their partners. Spencer chimed in to state, “No one is going to have the same love and care for our product as the people helping produce it. My dad and brother have to sit and listen to me gush about our strains and their characteristics, what this one is good for and why certain people should avoid this plant, so on and so forth.”
Speaking about the people that love and care for the plants, Spencer is under the firm belief that his team is as solid as they come. “We’ve been very fortunate to be surrounded by a bunch of likeminded individuals that have the same, over the top, level of passion for this plant. Every one of them has made substantial sacrifices to make sure our girls always come first.” He goes on to explain how his girlfriend, Molly Dudley, has taken a major role on at the grow. Earning the endearing title of Metric Molly around the farm. “She makes sure we stay organized and on task, her biggest challenge is keeping myself in check,” Elias goes on, “I’m really just the idea guy at the end of the day, she helps me bring them all to life.”
Cheryl Price and her son Jonah have been with the farm since the beginning. Cheryl is one of the lead cultivators and helps run the operations of White Barn Bud Ranch. She’s also considered by many on the crew as well as those that have dealings with White Barn as the barn mom. “I love working with this group of people. I feel like my heart has found a spot to rest safely.”
Jonah Price described how working with such an outstanding bunch of people has given him the ability to grasp comfort. He says that working with intelligent and caring family members has given him the inspiration to grow personally. He wears a ton of hats for the organization, however he says he knows that everyone else has just as many important hats in their collection.
There are a number of others that all play a significant role in getting this product ready for market. However, Spencer continuously notes one thing, “Everyone in that barn has the ability to do any job necessary. This is a group that is eager to learn and adjust on the fly.” From the sound of it Elias is always tinkering and trying to figure his plants out. “We don’t necessarily have the same SOP for each strain. The more we run a certain cut the more we can hone it in. I’ve got a big library of notes and records of the sixty or so strains we’ve cultivated here and make adjustments based on past batches. I’m sure these guys are fed up with me changing our techniques constantly, but they still go and make it all work.”
“One thing I really tried to key in on as I was transitioning from sales to growing was providing a constant variety. When I was out selling previously I’d have two or three strains with me. I realized quickly that these stores wanted a variety of top shelf products.” Thankfully for Spencer, that was right in his wheel house. “I’ve always been a genetics’ junky, popping seeds and really hunting for specific structures, smells, colors, and flavors. Having cannabis that has unique identifying factors that set it apart from what else is out there is just as important as being able to produce clean product. You have to give people a reason to want to try your flower.” Now to meet the variety White Barn is looking for not everything is found in house. “We get a lot of selections from Beleaf and other farms because they’ve put in the proper time and effort to find some special cuts. It’s not just about what yields heavy for us, it’s about how unique the flower is and how it stacks up when compared to our other cultivars.”
It wasn’t just the variety where Spencer saw the opportunity to set their farm apart. “Our process contains nothing that I wouldn’t mind exposing myself to. We aren’t using pesticides, PGRs, or any kind of foliar sprays outside of a diluted HCLO solution. Even that I don’t use once the plants have started budding.” He continued on to talk about their intense defoliation techniques and longer term drying process. “It really is key to not over dry this plant or do it too quickly. You want to preserve those terpenes and give the consumer a smoother smoke at the end of the day. When I first showed up here it was five days drying and out the door. Nowadays it can be a full month until our harvest is heading out of the door. In large part due to our low and slow drying process which I believe results in a more flavorful and less harsh smoke, but also because of our in-house trim team. Everything that leaves this facility is hand trimmed, the goal is to keep those outside trichome heads attached and the product looking and smoking consistent.”
One thing is certain, White Barn is more than happy to have the variety. “We understand that the market isn’t what it was even six months ago, we are having more small orders from buyers than ever. Thankfully we are supplied with enough of a variety to help keep their top shelves stocked. The whole goal of being a one stop bud shop is to help alleviate the constant juggling of deliveries by these dispensaries. At times, they can almost seem overwhelmed by the amount of incoming product they have from multiple people or the lineup of salesmen eager to show them the next great strain, we just want to make it easier on them at the end of the day.” Explained Eric Elias. “They just give us a call, we come to the store to show them what we have available at the time and get a drop to them as soon as they need it.”
“My family really didn’t know many people in the industry at the time we started all of this. Everything for the longest time was just cold call after cold call and it took a while to get traction. We started to visit weed events like the Cowboy Cup and Harvest Fest and really made some great connections there and next thing I know my phone won’t quit buzzing. I have to keep it on silent now just to get anything done.” Spencer and the whole room broke out into laughter. “Yeah, yeah, yeah you can blame the dispensaries for why it’s so hard to get ahold of me.”
Spencer sat and reflected deeply before speaking, “It really does blow my mind to think a year and a half ago we all were doing something completely unrelated to cannabis. We had the love and passion it takes to make White Barn Bud Ranch work and just so happened to come together at the right place and time. Sometimes it really takes someone asking the right questions to take a step back and see just what all this has meant for the team and myself. I’ve always been highly critical of my work in whatever I do, just a bit too much of a perfectionist. If I’ve learned anything from all of this it’s that with a little patience and persistence a group of likeminded people can really create whatever they dream possible. I’m beyond thankful for everyone that has played a role in shaping WBBR into what it is today.”
It’s obvious that the ultimate goal for White Barn is to bring clean and effective medicine to the people of this state. While it may not always be all of the glitz and glam that so many people expect when it comes to the legal cannabis market. This team has continuously found a way to work together to overcome hardships and times of uncertainty while finding a whole new meaning to a family business in the wild and ever-changing Oklahoma market.
Strain Of The Month Grape Biscotti – Mowdy Farms
Strain Of The Month
Grape Biscotti – Mowdy Farms
By James Bridges
I may catch a ton of heat for this statement, but one of my least favorite strains is Girl Scout Cookies. So when I was asked to give a few nuggs a whirl and I noticed that scent we all love or “hate”, I was, at the least, skeptical of what I was about to experience.
I only had a few days to give this strain a really good review and the anxiety was starting to rise. I realized that I needed to give this a fair and honest time with my palette in order to attempt to write something down on paper that resembles a review.
I started to think about times in the past. I would allow the anxiety to take over when it came to tasks that I assumed I would regret. I knew at some point that I had something that needed to be done in order for me to accomplish my goals. Many times it wasn’t fun. Even more times, I made the assumption that it would not be worth the effort.
I started to become depressed.
Why do I do this to myself? I asked. Why is it that I place myself into situations in order to either pass or fail. There is never an in between… (The cruel judgment we put ourselves through in order to grasp the entire complacency of victimhood…)
I finally jumped out of that winding rut of a trail. I’m not a victim. None of us are. I thought about the task at hand. Sarcastically, I started to write.
Whilst waddling in my ‘first world problem’ damnation, I had been smoking this Grape Biscotti from Mowdy Farms. I noticed that the taste wasn’t what I had assumed at all. This was actually a beautiful tasting flower. Yes I could taste the cookies. But it wasn’t that ‘twang’ I dislike when smoking GSC. The gassy aftertaste reminded me there was some real fire going down those pipes. I couldn’t wait for the effect.
I eventually noticed that my depression was gone. I was in a nice happy and relaxed headspace. I could actually function creatively. It was a high that gets you back into the game, with just a little soft landing.
This strain is a creeper and it’s definitely good medicine. Caryophyllene is the main terpine in this strain, which is easy to spot with it’s distinct aroma. It is known for its calming effect. It also helps to reduce anxiety and depression.
STRAIN: Grape Biscottie
CULTIVATOR: Mowdy Farms
TOTAL TERP: 3.11%
DISPENSARY: Local Leaf RX 19680 S. Gordon Cooper Dr. Tecumseh, OK
by Anna Ervin
Vetmaps, an initiative established by James Ladabouche of Midwest City, is an organization seeking to bring veterans and dispensaries together by working to ensure that Oklahoma veterans have access to a medical marijuana card. Once Vetmaps is launched, the platform will list dispensaries that are veteran-friendly, including discounts and incentives on their menu; as well as educate vets on the benefits of cannabis as an alternative to other highly addictive medications.
James, a veteran himself, feels strongly about this mission because of his own journey with cannabis. Opioids prescribed for an injury in 2009 forced James down a deadly, self-deprecating path. He was taking pharmaceuticals just to feel “normal”, but the dependency became too overbearing. After watching his wife, children, and friends walk out of his life, James
felt that he no longer had anything worth feeling normal for.
It wasn’t until after he tried to commit suicide that someone introduced cannabis into his life.
Cannabis didn’t just help James overcome his opioid addiction, it tackled the root of the issue by helping combat his anxiety, depression, neuropathy, and PTSD. Through his journey, James was able to trade in a slew of pharmaceutical prescriptions for one mi-
raculous plant. He has made it his to share his journey with other vets who may be struggling with addiction or opioid dependency. James hopes to help veterans to understand that there is an alternative.
You can help James and Vetmaps achieve their mission by making a donation to sponsor a veteran. The average cost of an Oklahoma Medical Marijuana license is $125, or $45 for those with Medicare or Soonercare. Your donations will help provide medical cards to veterans free of charge, host special events, and manage Vetmaps’ digital platforms for
By Kathy Long-Barker
Let’s talk about the side of cannabis that isn’t as widely known. The anxiety ridden mind bending side. Many look at me funny when I tell them that possibility even exists.
“Man, I wish I had your tolerance, that’s what everyone wants!”
Then I watch their faces fall into uncomfortable surprise as I tell them what an average dose of this plant medicine looks and feels like from my particular point of view.
I first began smoking when I was 18. My Dad was no stranger to the stress relieving properties of the magical grass, and he always told me, “If you ever want to try it, try it at home with me, ok?” True to my word, I asked one night when some of my friends were over and had some of their own. Everything was fine. Mind you it was probably the lowest potency shake you could get your hands on, as this was in Texas, twelve or so years ago. I felt a little sleepy but that was the extent of it.
This is how most of my encounters went until the age of 21 rolled around and I had my first run in with a humongous bong shaped like satan. Looking back, maybe I shouldn’t have cleared the entire thing. I remember the strain like a phantom that still taunts me. ‘Train Wreck.’ To make a long story short, I went to Krogers to distract myself, was convinced all two employees at 11:30 at night ‘were on to me’, and concluded that my best option was to vomit like the exorcist all over aisle seven.
Poor guy. He hated me. I could tell as he dead panned me and said: “Let…me get…the mop.”
That was my first unpleasant experience. Not fun, but not mind shattering. I suppose the universe thought it should break me in. Cool. Whatever. Fine.
I had a handful of experiences after that that taught me about dosage and what my tolerance was. I was getting a pretty good hang on things until One day I met ‘Girl Scout Cookies’ by way of a kiss from my now husband, Johnny. I would have thought a second hand toke wouldn’t be too bad. Next thing I knew my Dad was standing in front of me, his face contorting into worry. “Wow, your pupils are REALLY big”
All I can remember is the gaping cloud of fear that engulfed my chest as I squeaked “WHAT, OH NO!!” Immediately after, my spiritual body was ripped from my physical form and I began being thrown into a “whooshing” sensation, three years forward in time. Then I would come back into my body. Then I would “swoosh” three years backwards in time before returning to my physical form. I didn’t get to see any nifty past or future visuals, it was more of an etheric awareness I could measure in terms of ‘time’. Somewhere amidst that sensation my mind threw in visuals from a nightmare I’d had around that time. Shadowed demonic dogs that took bites out of my forearms like bubblegum taffy.
It went on for what felt like hours, but was probably more like fifteen minutes. With each return to the present awareness, I would realize I was still crying and holding onto Johnny’s pant leg while begging him to not let ‘them’ take me away again. Who were ‘them’ you ask? I have no idea, and that creeps me out just a little more when I think about it.
It felt endless not only for me, but my partner as well. In another present blip of awareness he touched my shoulder and told me to find an anchor. Some kind of mode to distract myself. I just sobbed because he sounded like he was underwater, and it only made everything seem more broken in my then fractured mind.
“Draw it, babe!” he urged.
I blinked as something clicked into place.
“Draw it?” I repeated.
Then my focus started to funnel like tunnel vision towards my sketchbook, instead of dragging me off again.
“Take everything you’re experiencing and put it on the book instead of on yourself,” he said.
He was brilliant. I nodded, as hot tears ceased their falling. Pen in hand, I just started scribbling shapes, and words, anything that came to my perception. They were barking mad, but at least they were something. Not some psychotic jumble of fear and confusion.
It took another ten minutes, but I’d successfully drained the last lines of madness onto the page. All that remained was exhaustion, which I happily allowed to throw me into a nap.
I had one more experience like that, but less severe. I don’t remember anything about the strain except for the fact that it was different from what had me time traveling. I’ll tell you one thing though, it was enough to have me back off from THC and start asking questions. What is the purpose of THC for me? Am I just using it to escape aimlessly or is it actually benefiting me? Why did this uncomfortable reaction happen to me, but not most others? Was there a reason? Did it actually happen to more people than I was aware of? Actually, YES. It did! Working in a dispensary with a CBD section has led me to meeting many patients with similar issues.
I’m not a licensed authority on mood disorders, but I know that my mother has the same issues with cannabis, as well as my grandmother. Her side of the family has a few members with Schizophrenia among other mood disorders like Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s in our blood line, regardless of us not actively having signs or symptoms. If you have ever experienced similar situations to what you’ve just read and are curious, hit up google for some interesting studies! Discern for yourselves and I wish you all the best in the great quest for understanding.
By Carisa Rowe
The art of dialing in your mind and body to chase your thoughts to their inevitable ends. We meditate, we make art, we garden, we dance, we run…
We run after the void, seeking the end of understanding or to quiet the noise so that we can feel the static of oblivion. La petit mort – or the little death – is the release of energy that untethers us from all that we know. These little deaths are the endorphin rush from a great work out, the high of closing a big deal, the crashing waves following an orgasm. All we are chasing is that burst of pent-up energy that allows us to bask in our afterglow or the silence of the expulsion.
As philosophical beings, we explore our comprehension of reality. Its heady work. Work that drives exceptional minds beyond the void, some driven to madness. Philosophers have influenced the evolution of the human consciousness for millennia by sharing their personal understanding of reality with any listeners who will receive them.
Socratic philosophers believed the world was only as real as we universally believe. This gave birth to Western philosophy and innumerable philosophical disciplines.
Over the two and half millennia, since Socrates spun his thoughts into the web of consciousness, Western philosophy has discovered and developed into countless iterations of reality, each tethered to one another through an invisible network of consciousness. As we outgrow our collective understanding, the energy that we have built for growth must be absorbed until the collective conscious achieves a reset. Every time we condense enough energy to affect change, we’ve progressed into a deeper collective understanding of who we are. The duality of being both The observer and the observed catalyzes many of us forward into the void. We are wanting to understand more of ourselves. This inevitably leads to a desire to understand those around us and how we are all connected.
The limit of understanding is set by our connection to our consciousness. Within the conscious mind exists ego, which brings awareness of self and within that knowledge we can only understand the world. In that regard, we can only understand our non-existence. We as individuals are nanoscopic in comparison to all that binds us. The dissolution of self, or ego death, as it has come to be known, is where we achieve the realization of everything and nothing. These realizations are fleeting because the conscious mind seeks constantly to understand beyond its own knowledge. At this juncture, gleaning knowledge becomes a compulsion, a subconscious fixation to find the next unknown and know it.
How we achieve that state of absolution from reality varies greatly. For some, bliss comes simply. These people are capable of walking with the void and granting the grace of eternity to those around them. For others, the disconnection is harsh, causing them to reverberate chaotic energy.
To best tap the collective consciousness, our energy must be flowing in the correct direction and there must be no interruption to the flow of that energy, such as the limitation of our own consciousness. Being that individual consciousness is a mitigating factor to collective consciousness, we must first identify the channel of energy that we are seeking to join and then dissolve our ego into the ether. We must know how to achieve la petite mort.
Preceding Western philosophy are the concepts of karma and balanced chakras. These provide a mission and a legend for Vedic philosophers. They are seeking to achieve ultimate knowledge through good intention, balance, and discipline. Vedic practices include Yoga, Tantra, and Ayuverda which prescribe routines for physical and mental fitness. These routines could direct followers to fast or meditate until they enter a state of altered consciousness. Somatic practices in the Vedic traditions included plant-based concoctions and relied heavily on cannabis in the development of Taoism, or so it is understood.
Even earlier in human consciousness, at the dawn of civilization, Mesopotamian philosophy centered on living a life as laborers for the gods so that the world would not spin into chaos. Early human developments such as these relied heavily on the leadership of spiritually gifted individuals who were tasked with knowing, understanding, and responding to the needs of the people in their collectives. In an article titled “Psychedelics and the Ancient Near East”, author Diana L. Stein describes the plant-based medicinal practices of third and second Millenia Mesopotamians. Stein further explains that “the resulting concoctions were applied as salves, ingested as potions, powders, and pills, or inhaled as fumes in order to treat all manner of ailments, both real and imagined. Certain drugs were prescribed for their mind-altering effects. Some of these brought about sedation, anesthesia, or analgesia. Others were administered in order to relieve or overcome inhibition, fear, panic, and depression as well as, in the odd instance, to induce hallucinations.”
Heralded as sages, healers, and prophets, these guides would utilize plant medicine to journey beyond consciousness seeking communion with the gods, ancestors, or with trapped spirits. Many of these ancient philosophers understood that hallucinogens could remove the barrier of consciousness. In some civilizations, as evidenced by Mesopotamian anthropology, the guides would utilize hallucinogens to improve the health of a particular individual. Shamans in northern cultures administered mushrooms and mushroom teas to raise moral during brutal winter months. This evidence of plant-based medicine to induce hallucinations in the earliest known human civilizations indicates an innate understanding of entheogenic nutrition.
Those little deaths, the quiet moments – those are the place where sanity is found. The shuddering breath after finishing a marathon or the roar of a crowd so connected to the music on stage that they move like so many birds on the wind. That is where we remember that we are more than one; it is the only space we can hold everything and nothing. In every documented explosion of human evolution, psychoactive compounds are evidenced to treat illness, heal communities, and explore the limits of human understanding and innovation.
Universal Cannabis 101: Entourage Effect
Universal Cannabis 101
by Jasmine Harvey
Let’s dive into how the Entourage Effect works!
The Entourage Effect is a combination of all compounds and chemicals found in the cannabis sativa plant. The cannabis sativa plant is vast in her ways with hundreds of different compounds, cannabinoids and terpenes. With this, they all perfectly harmonize with one another to bring us the balance of the Entourage Effect.
With so many different and unique compounds and structures of the cannabis sativa plant you are able to grasp the full benefits from consuming every aspect of it. These ways may be inhalation of the flower, consumption of a full spectrum product and eating or juicing the cannabis sativa plant.
The most common way individuals think they are able to medicate and have a cerebral change, head high if you will, is the chemical compound THC. This may be true but is not wholeheartedly.
In order to receive the full benefits of cannabis you must have all compounds, cannabinoids and terpenes working together to give you your complete relief from what ails you.
There are many different classes of chemicals such as amino acids, carbohydrates, fatty acids and terpenes that are the building blocks that help give you your cerebral change, pain relief, reduction in anxiety and so much more. This is due to the synergy of these compounds and chemicals.
When you smell your cannabis and get a “nose” for what your body is craving, those are the terpenes, which we will go in depth next. Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD play off of each other to give the full holistic effects of your cannabis, these are two of many that aid in this cycle of help. Many variables come into play on the profile of your cannabis to help different ailments. This may be seen in the manner in which it is grown, the genetics and many more.
With the combinations of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and other molecules they all synergistically work together to give you the full holistic benefits of the cannabis sativa plant, making it the Entourage Effect.
The vast universe of Cannabis awaits!
We are excited to announce that Hopper has joined the Herbage family. He recently relocated to Oklahoma from his native California to start a family and continue his cannabis career which has spanned 30 years and includes nearly all facets of the industry-Growing, music, solventless extractions, media (print and radio), founding and running a collective known for its charitable contributions on behalf of the cannabis community, and more. Each month he will be reviewing strains and products in a column written by his wife, Pamela Jayne, called The Chronniseur, and is looking forward to sampling Oklahoma’s finest.
You can find out more about him on IG @hopper448
The Budtender Diaries– An Introduction
The Budtender Diaries– An Introduction
by Anna Ervin
It wasn’t until I gained firsthand experience in a dispensary that I realized the weight of the responsibility that the role of a budtender carries. I hear about a lot of people diving into the entry-level position because they see it as the easiest way to get out of their stressful 9-5 situation and into an industry they think they’ll love. However, what I don’t often see are most of those people maintaining a job in the cannabis industry with that kind of mindset.
Budtenders are the bridge that gaps patients and cultivators, the gatekeepers of a purchasing manager’s attention, and the final set of eyes to fall on the medicine that gets distributed to our friends, family, and neighbors. Tending buds is not for the faint of heart. It requires a certain amount of responsibility, initiative, and passion to fill these shoes, and if you can’t keep up with industry news and standards you’ll quickly find that this field can bring just as much discomfort as whatever position you previously held.
The vast majority of patients who shop for cannabis look to their tenders for advice on product selection, dosage, and consumption methods. In a lot of cases, if you aren’t equipped with the right knowledge (or willingness to learn alongside your patients), those customers will chew you up and spit you out. Put yourself in their shoes. While most of us find ourselves actively engaged in this industry daily, the average consumer isn’t likely to have quite as much access to the wealth of information or networks that we do. When a patient asks about a product, it’s a budtender’s responsibility to be informed about the cultivation, processing, and consumption of that product. And in my opinion, patients are entitled to learn as much as they want to about their medicine.
Another important role a budtender plays in this industry is holding the keys to their purchasing manager’s gaze. I don’t know if all dispensaries work like this, but in my experience, it is nearly impossible for brokers to get past a good budtender without an appointment with the store’s buyer. We can smell you from a mile away, and it’s not that we don’t care about the product your pushing, it’s just that you’re the 7th person we’ve turned away that day. If you really want to get your foot in the door, consider the first 30 seconds of your presentation walking into the dispensary to be your most crucial for making an impression. We don’t always have time to hear the whole spiel, but managing to pique our interest could potentially get you a lot closer to putting your product on shelves. I’d love to dive into this topic more, but look at it this way: budtenders are the ones that have to move whatever you leave in inventory, so sell it to us the way you’d want it sold in our store.
Finally, the most important responsibility that falls in a tender’s lap is a final inspection of the product being sold before it lands within the hands of the consumer. This requires a certain amount of knowledge about industry standards and the biochemistry of cannabis. The last thing anyone in our industry wants is to find that a faulty product found its way into the pocket of a patient, and the last thing a patient wants to hear is that they consumed something unsafe or not up to par with industry standards.
A patient’s individual role in purchasing cannabis is to advocate for their health. It’s important to share as much information as comfortably possible, particularly when asking about dosage and consumption methods. Nobody else knows your body better than you do. Keep a patient journal, report your experiences with each product, and let your budtender know what works for you next time you hit up the dispo. With that being said, a budtender’s responsibility to continuously learn, educate, and inspire healthy choices never truly ends.
My hope is that this column will help create a safe space for tenders and patients to find common ground, inspiration, and education. I would like to invite both parties to submit any questions, stories, or topics that might come up in the dispensary. Please send your submissions here → firstname.lastname@example.org
Lotus Letters: Mysterious ways
By Kathy Long-Barker
Before you towers the most mind numbing physical conjuration of terror, your own personal brand brand of fear. It cackles dark inky tendrils, certain of your demise to come. Much to the nightmarish consciousness’s dismay, you simply shrug at it and wait for it to do whatever it claims it’s going to do. Gone are the days of your near instant submission. You function in trust these days. You will not be moved. Begrudgingly, it ceases its theatrics and produces a battered looking envelope for your viewing.
Dearest Daring Divine.
If you are reading this now, you’ve traversed many levels of consciousness to arrive here. You’ve done ‘the work’ and faced many a demon, only to realize that in truth, they are reflections of you. You are nothing to fear. You are everything to love, and as pouty as they look, your demons hold the highest gratitude for listening instead of shrieking. So on behalf of the darkness, thank you. After all, we both know they can’t break character to tell you themselves.
I’m sure by now you’re catching on to the fact that the simple phrase ‘everything happens for a reason’ isn’t just some vague excuse to have you give up on asking general questions. Nay, everything really does happen for a reason. Whether it be to acquire understanding about something, or to deliver you to better ground amidst your challenging terrain.
Let’s have an example. Take the Typist for these letters, Kathy! Yes, she was a prime example of the saying ‘everything happens for a reason.’ She’d been transportationally challenged as of late due to issues with her car. Times are tough I hear, in the year 2021 when it happened. She was doing her best, but not enough to afford the repairs on her car let alone acquire a new one. SO the universe, or in Kathy’s case the ‘herniverse’ got clever.
She was using Uber for a short time, when things went nearly as badly as they could go. Her driver took her to a cul-de-sac instead of her destination and informed her she would need to pay more money if she wanted to be taken to the proper place. Afterwards he spoke to someone who approached the car in a few creepy sounding words. Kathy tried giving him the address 3 different times to put into his GPS. Instead he asked her for her phone. You can imagine how badly this could have gone if she had given it to him. Or for any younger and more naive individual who would comply out of fear. What really made this sink in was the fact that when the driver finally delivered her to her destination she came to realize the back doors were child safety locked.
Oddly enough, the fear and gravity of the situation hadn’t sunk into our dear typist until later on in that day. She had remained calm and mindful. What came out of this encounter? What was the reason? Her mother and father in law bought her a cash car the very next day. No questions asked, no payback required.
The experience was frightening in hindsight, but she was divinely protected all along. Her family needed to see her in real danger to offer a helping hand.
Now I challenge you dear reader, the next time you find yourself up against your own personal brand of fear, ask it point blank: “what’s the reason?”
- The YOUniverse
My heart goes out to all the individuals and families who were not as lucky as I was and have experienced loss to the human trafficking system. I could never presume to give you a definite reason for such pain. Only you can illuminate your reason for your experience. Being a human can be beastly at times. I love you, and It is my deepest hope, your loved ones find their way safely home if they can.
Tasty Farms Tulsa: Delicious, Ethical, Sustainably Life Changing
Tasty Farms Tulsa: Delicious, Ethical, Sustainably Life Changing
By Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate
The Tasty Farms family asks, “What happens when you need a natural medicinal option but can’t or don’t want to smoke CBD or medical marijuana?” Tasty Farms understands in a very personal way that for some, combustible consumption just isn’t an option, but neither is a lifetime of immeasurable pain.
Amidst a crowded, bustling lounge enters a radiant, naturally beautiful girl with a young Laura Ingalls look about her striking face and a professional dancer’s form. Her movement is somehow both rigid and graceful, as she seems to glide through the room like the gentlest flutter of a butterfly’s wing. She is sweet and welcoming in her greeting. Her family calls her Kat. Not too far across the room sits Kat’s mother, Jeannean, “Neaner” Miller. She is charismatic and naturally commands the room. Neaner is the woman you want to sit next to at the dinner party. She is an Oklahoma Cannabis Industry Entrepreneur and the backbone of the Tasty Farms family.
“Tasty Farms is a family of people that have experienced the pain management nightmare. Our layered approach to micro dosing with either CBD or medical marijuana products is a natural way to improve your daily quality of life.” Together with Mike, Jeannean’s husband of 35 years and father to Kat, and with the tireless efforts of Kat’s spouse Lucas, Tasty Farms is a true soil to sale, family-owned and operated Oklahoma Cannabis as Medicine Company. Their dedication to the cause stems from a hereditary Invisible Illness dear Kat survives with known as Arnold Chiari Malformation (ACM).
Experts tell us ACM is a condition where the brain tissue extends into the spinal canal and occurs when part of the skull is misshapen or smaller than is typical, pressing on the brain and forcing it downward. “It was misdiagnosed from birth,” recounts Jeannean. She goes on to say, “[Kat] was thought to have heart issues. When they couldn’t figure anything out they said she just had a temper and we wrote it off to her being the middle child- not dealing with extreme pain and not being able to communicate that.”
Young Kat was fighting an unknown battle her family was not equipped to forego, as it would be 21 years before Kat received her diagnosis via a CT scan showing a 13mm herniation of her brain. She found joy through music and in dancing, however the immeasurable pain Kat was surviving through would be insufferable to the average person. Receiving sensory transmissions -like turning on the light- easily over stimulates Kat’s brain. She experiences blinding pain when yawning; coughing is out of the question. Kat tells us, “If I sneezed I would drop to my knees.” In her lifetime Kat has seen over 250 medical professionals, however the healthcare she received was sub par, at best. Kat just wanted to dance, to move, to be without pain but also without the debilitating and dangerous effects of the traditional pain medications she had been prescribed throughout her life. These drugs impaired her so much so that she couldn’t care for herself, “she couldn’t even tell me what she wanted on her pizza,” recalled Neaner. Quietly, almost to herself Kat remarked, “[I thought] If I was not here anymore, how much easier it would be for everyone else.”
“I have been labeled a ‘Drug Seeker’ by medical professionals.” Kat tells us, all the while prescribing her Dilaudid and Fentanyl, among a list of other pharmaceuticals. Moving all over to seek the care of specialists and new drug treatments is very expensive. Kat even underwent incomprehensible tortures such as the cauterizing of her neck via pain management clinics. Kat was also now experiencing seizures induced by pain management. “We began to search for natural ways to end this cyclical nightmare.”
Meanwhile Kat and Jeannean found community in the Walk Across America family. Neaner bonded with mentor, Carol, who encouraged her to look into the not then legal and still taboo subject of cannabis as medicine. Jeannean was a diligent mama bear that buried herself in online research and together they got Kat the medicine she needed in the form of RSO, beginning her titration right away. “When we got this first oil, that’s what started Tasty Farms,” recalls Jeannean. This treatment eased Kat through the otherwise unbearable pharmaceutical detox. Upon doing so the ladies openly informed her pain management doctor. She was offered Methadone and when she rejected that life darling Kat was dropped from treatment and blacklisted. Luckily, Carol the Great connected them with the right Surgeon, Dr. Rosner, and they aligned with a physician they love and of whom Kat is still under her care, Dr. J Edwards.
Kat not only survives with ACM, for which she has undergone three separate surgeries, she is also plagued with other comorbidity issues including EDS and Pott’s disease. Nonetheless, she has applied for and been denied Disability five times. Sadly, this is common among the Invisible Illness population. Kat’s desire to help others can be found in the act of giving her last few dollars to a Dollar Store purchase of necessities for a displaced person in her hometown. She tells us, “I just wanted him to know I saw him.” It can also be found in the selfless giving of herself to Tasty Farms. Along with Jeannean and their spouses they have developed a Body ReLeaf line of products that “will improve your quality of life.” Boy, are they right and Kat is the living, breathing, dancing data to show it!
Tasty Farms’ detoxifying Full Spectrum cannabis layering line offers products intended for micro dosing for a patient’s daily maintenance, and macro dosing for break through pain. “Each one of our products were developed due to necessity,” Jeannean reiterates. Their Gluten Free, sugar free Body ReLeaf Drops are RSO infused, and made using Olive Oil- which provides it’s own profile of added benefits. Patients with nut allergies, unlike MCT oil based products, can use the Drops. Their GF RSO infused Honey is sourced in Glenpool by rescued hives. Tasty Farm’s Full Spectrum RSO infused ReLeaf Balm push up stick offers transdermal relief with added Activated Turmeric and Kratom, natural butters including Hemp Seed, Beeswax, Olive Oil, and Essential Oils. The GF, sugar free, dairy free Peruvian Cacao Mushroom Mix includes Red Maca, Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Turkey Tail, Cordyceps, Chaga, Marshmallow Root, and Bolete Mushroom Powders. CBD Comfort Suppositories are available in packs of five.
When looking to support a true vertically integrated, family-owned and operated brand who strives to improve the quality of lives first and foremost, lean into Tasty Farms where Neaner reminds us, raising her arms with exuberance, “everything goes through these hands.” Kat understands and appreciates the value of life and tells us she doesn’t know how long her life will be but she hopes to create something that will continue to help people after she’s gone. “If we can reach one person a day we are doing our jobs.”
Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate is a Writer and Oklahoma Cannabis Industry Professional since 2018. She is a Certified Cannacian III and Trichome Institute Certified Cannabis Consultant with a “full spectrum” Postpartum Wellness background.
The Feminine Divine, Healing with Plants and Crystals: Utopic Vibes
The Feminine Divine, Healing with Plants and Crystals: Utopic Vibes
by Veronica Castillo
Both recognized as “alternative medicine” (which is crazy because both are natural, coming directly from earth; whereas man made lab pills are considered actual medicine), cannabis and crystals are utilized and consumed for multiple healing reasons: mind, body, and soul.
In the western hemisphere, which is where The United States of America is, we generally weren’t, and still are not taught about healing with crystals. And I suppose in a country that wants man made pills to be the main source of “medicine”, why would they?
But as I learned from Kristine D. Carlos, in her thesis: Crystal Healing Practices in the Western World and Beyond:
“Humans have been using crystals for various healing and ritual reasons for centuries. Both geographically and culturally, a diverse range of groups have turned to crystals and gemstones to address diverse needs over the millennia. While the oldest legends of crystal magic date back to the mythical ancient continent of Atlantis, whose people allegedly used crystals for telepathic communication, it is believed that the crystal customs continued to perpetuate in Egypt, South America, and Tibet over subsequent centuries.”
Usually, America doesn’t recognize anything from earth as medicine. You see, crystals come from earth. Millions of years ago, liquid rock inside the earth cooled and hardened, and this is how crystals formed at the twinkling center of the earth. And like cannabis, a plant that grew wild centuries ago, and still could if earth wasn’t being destroyed as I type; are forms of healing that have been here since before humans.
Holistically and in history, both have been utilized and consumed for healing, today, both are making their way into mainstream society; and there is a company that is offering both in one purchase: Utopic Vibes.
About Uptopic Vibes, Products with a Purpose
Utopic highs and crystal vibes, Utopic Vibes is an Oklahoma based medical marijuana processing facility that seeks to bring patients the best of both cannabis flower and healing crystals. Their focus is on uplifting the vibration of their patients through intention based healing. Owned by Kimberly Provance and Tonya Carone, this company believes that: “Caring for the mind, body, and soul is of the utmost importance for a healthy and happy life.”
Kimberly and Tomya encourage Oklahoma patients to “catch the Utopic vibe” by consuming their line of intentional healing products with names like: chill, heal, create, passion, and uplift. Their intention with providing a product that incorporates earth into healing is to offer:
“Peace and tranquility. This is something everyone deserves in this life, and we are confident that our products will help you change your frequency to align with these states of being.”
Hear from the Owners of Utopic Vibes, Kimberly and Tonya
I just want to say that I absolutely love the concept, the message, and the intention of Utopic Vibes; what led you here to its launch?
“We wanted to provide the patients of Oklahoma with a higher quality experience that can be used with intention. We both love crystals and appreciate the healing energies they can provide and wanted to share with others how crystals can complement and work together with cannabis for various experiences. The market was lacking a premium pre roll and we wanted to provide the best of everything for the patient from including high testing full flower, genuine crystal, custom cones for an even burn and an educational card for the strain and the crystal. We call our packs experience packs for that reason, it allows for a full experience of enjoying the high quality of the joint while learning about the product and also connecting with the crystal.”
Please tell me about the team— who are they and what does each person do?
“The team is Kimberly Provance and Tonya Carone, we met in Bartlesville in May 2020, at the start of the pandemic. Kim was visiting family and looking for alternatives to help her husband who is a cancer survivor. Tonya was working at a dispensary, had so much knowledge to share on terpenes and the healing components of the plant, and was genuinely interested in helping make sure the right products were recommended.
Kim’s background is in corporate America with 30 years in technology sales and sales management where she has always been motivated by helping people achieve their goal through products she has sold and represented. Kim sets the standard of ethical business practices, sources, cleanses, and charges every crystal Utopic vibes uses.
Tonya’s background is in sales, organic farming, essential oils, as well as petitioning for SQ788. She has helped patients get their cards and then educated patients in dispensaries. We met and bonded over how the earth truly gives us what we need in our lives in both crystals and cannabis. Tonya handles all the sourcing of the product with the various grows, and she insists on high terpenes and quality. She also handles the production and quality control. Tonya’s Role: source growers and strains aligned with our 5 vibes.”
Before launch, did you find that people overall loved, weren’t sure of, and/or didn’t understand your concept?
“Unsure. Being two women in this industry coming to the market with this intention based approach with crystals and holistic healing; we were told many times it was a lot to ask of Oklahoma patients. But we stayed true to our beliefs that we could change the lives of patients and so, we launched and Oklahoma has welcomed us with open arms to help set the standard of true room based medicating.
Generally, we get this question from men: “what’s with the rock?” At first we were like “hey, that’s not a rock it’s a beautiful crystal!” It’s fun now because we have been able to educate so many people from various backgrounds on the benefits of working with crystals. Men also like to purchase them as they give the crystals to their wife or girlfriend, and they get big brownie points for that in addition to a premium joint to enjoy.
People really like to collect the cards too, they appreciate the information and seeing the various strains and how we change it up.”
What are your top 3 favorite crystals and why?
“That’s a hard one that’s like which kid is your favorite 😅. All of our crystals are our favorite depending on what we need in our lives at that moment. Trends with our patients have been our citrine and amethyst. Citrine for its abundance and inspiration and Amethyst is for encouragement of tranquility.
As women we gravitate toward pink for love so the Rose Quartz is a favorite. Blue lace for positive vibes; this one’s fun to work with and lift your spirits and uplift your energies. Clear Quartz MASTER HEALER applifies energies, protects balances, and acts as a spiritual healer.”
Can you talk about the inclusion of a crystal with your 5 packs?
“Both cannabis and crystals come from our earth naturally, meaning the nutrients we get from plants that we use everyday and also in cannabis, create the crystals over thousands of years; so how can they not come together?
We wanted to give the patient something other than a matchstick or lighter, we wanted to share the experience of the crystal with them in hopes of them achieving the highest level of whatever intention they are manifesting.
We love to see how our patients use the crystals (each come with a hole drilled) in making jewelry or other ways of carrying them. Some people like to bless others with their crystals. It gives the patient something positive to experience with each pack. That is our goal.”
Which of the 5 options in your 5 packs is your best seller?
“Create and Chill, lots of people like Heal too; we source really good 50/50 blends for that consistently. Create pleasantly surprised us and is currently our best seller.”
Where can cannabis patients in Oklahoma find Utopic Vibes products?
“We are in over 50 dispensaries now in the state, please find a dispensary near you on our website.”
How do you all source the crystals and cannabis provided in your products/product packs?
“We get our crystals from Arizona and Arkansas currently.”
I asked Kimberly and Tonya for their recommendations:
For someone that isn’t familiar with crystals and consuming cannabis for healing other than chronic pain, which strain do you recommend they try first?
“They should start with the vibe that they are feeling… they may be going on a date that night and passion will do the trick as it’s a nice hybrid. If they need a positive boost, we recommend our Uplift. They all really hold the power of intention, so we recommend you start with what you consciously lead you to.”
Merged Creation: Bud, Sweat & Tears
Bud, Sweat & Tears
By James Bridges
“A lot of who and how I am today is because of my upbringing and living on a farm.”
Jason was speaking about his upbringing. A foundation of experience that would one day catapult both Jason and Avis to coming ever so closely to that nirvana which we all seek. The type of feeling that allows you to embrace your strengths, balance your weaknesses with your partners strengths, and accomplish great things no matter how tall that mountain may seem.
Bud Sweat & Tears is locally owned and operated by Jason and Avis. The couple has dedicated most of their adult lives working for corporate America. Both with a proven track record of creating efficiencies and improving quality standards.
Life on a farm to many is something that could easily be romanticized. Especially to ones that have never operated or lived on one. “I couldn’t tell you a 9/16 from a 1/2-inch wrench when I moved to the farm as a boy.” Jason was reflecting on the earliest times on that family farm. “My uncle would call out to my 4-year-old nephew to go grab the wrench. Unlike myself, this little guy would bring back the exact wrench that my uncle needed.” Jason described how he felt at that moment that he really needed to learn some things. It didn’t take him long to learn all the intricacies of working on a farm, and eventually ended up running his uncle’s entire farm.
“There is no such thing as a weekend, or you know just working weekdays, when it comes to a farm. It is no different when you are cultivating cannabis. When I am at the farm, I work till the lights go out. I’m the first one up the next morning. I don’t think you’ll find anybody that works harder than a farmer. We won’t go and enjoy life until the work is finished. That’s a way of life I picked up from farming.”
“These girls out here,” Avis pointed over her shoulder. “These girls are our boss. Ultimately, we don’t do anything until the ladies have been taken care of. They are the ones that approve for us to have a night out on the town.” I glanced over at the beautiful flowering plants as she explained. “I am at the grow 7 days a week. There is no such thing as a 5:00 quitting time, no sick days, or vacation days in farming-life.”
While Avis grew up as a city girl, she has always respected farmers and recognized that it’s a way of life. “If you think about a farmer, people know farming and hard work go hand-in-hand. I don’t think that we, as cannabis-farmers, receive that sort of same status.”
Avis brings up an interesting question. “Does the national farming community give respect to the dedication, education, and progression of cannabis cultivation methods?” I do not possess the data nor claim this as fact. However, in my opinion, which derives from the opinions of many cannabis farmers and some that are not, is that the respect level to cannabis farms remains minute in comparison.
Most farms of this level are “family” farms. That is just fine and dandy with this couple. While speaking with them, I was able to grasp an overwhelming sense of positive flow. The two have not only discovered an efficient and prosperous way to cultivate good clean medicine, they figured out a way to make this a part of their family life.
It’s rather unique to find something that should not work and witness it actually succeed and exceed expectations. The couple works as an efficient machine that consists of patterns and puzzles only known by Jason and Avis. Some might say only the closest of souls could achieve this together.
The couple realized quickly they worked extremely well with one another when they were able to drive in their own lanes, in a manner of speaking. They play off each other’s strengths and balance each other’s weaknesses fluidly. While neither have things they “wouldn’t do” their talents naturally align them to specific jobs.
For instance, Jason is the ‘muscle and brute force’ at the farm – construction projects, fixing building or equipment issues, and he’s the one you will find monkeying up and down the racks a million times. While Avis is the ‘data queen’, she keeps the farm compliant and knows all the numbers. She focuses on ways to keep a room full of dirt – exceptionally clean and takes on the meticulous aspects of the business. Together, they bounce off each other to identify the best workspace efficiencies and workflows. Genetics brought into the farm, vendors they select to work with, or dispensaries they choose to have represent their brand is always a joint decision.
“As the data queen, I’m a big fan of having procedures and tracking data.” Avis describes her satisfaction with organization and having the information in front of her, “When we are ready to expand, we have standard operating procedures. Our SOP’s document all our processes and the different stages of harvesting. These exist for us to reference back to and forward-looking for when we hire a staff, to be able to say this is exactly how to do any portion of a harvest successfully.” These SOP’s have been created through many of our own lessons learned, as well as from some of our trusted industry-experts, and our mentor.
If I were a home builder, the first thing that I would do if I had the opportunity to enter a new acquaintance’s home, would be to look at how it is built. Specific little details that would indicate whether or not this person should be allowed to swing a hammer. I asked both Jason and Avis if they do the same when going to other grow operations.
“When I look at other grows, I feel like there’s things that I learn that could work for us and there’s other things that wouldn’t. If another grower has already learned a lesson and shares that story with us – we are happy to not repeat that same mistake. When talking with them, there is knowledge that we share. I am always looking to see if another farm is in compliance, help them to improve their marketing strategy, or give tips on processes. We both love giving pointers to how our growmies can protect themselves or improve based on our experience.”
Avis left me with a strong sense of solidity in her words, “Cleanliness and preventative maintenance are two important keys to success. Simple things like using a sterile room to disinfect your shoes and clothing before entering, wearing rubber gloves anytime buds are being handled, and even limiting visitors that come into the flower space.”
“While we always learn from other grows, one of the biggest lessons we’ve learned is to be transparent before another grower enters your building or you enter theirs. It is surprising that farmers would invite you into their grow only to realize after you walk in, they have been fighting an outbreak with mites, thripes, powdery mildew, or another transferrable issues. We believe as a cultivator you should always speak up before exposing another farmer to a known issue that could be easily transported back to their farm. We understand this happens throughout the state and is often a novice mistake of not asking before entering – Are you experiencing any issues in your personal or commercial grow? Vendors that visit our farm, we always request that we are the first (or only) farm they visit that day”
In respect to being inside others grows, Jason added, “I’m looking for wins, but I’m also that checkbox type of person. You know… is that HVAC set up right? If they’re going to have problems with that, how do we fix it? Can we make this more efficient? Why did that not work? In the past several years since medical became legal in Oklahoma, I’ve been in other grows at least 3 or 4 times a month. It’s a beautiful thing, I’ll ask those questions of wins and losses. We talk them over with one another. We learn.”
Avis commented that “Even late at night Jason will be on social media. He will ask me a question about something random that we are doing that works well inside the grow. I’m like… ‘Why are you caring about that right now – it’s 11:00pm!’ Then Jason says something like… ‘These guys are looking for a solution and what we found might help.’ He definitely has a passion for helping others succeed.”
Avis continued, “Going into business with someone that you’re dating was scary. If we’re not good business partners then that affects our entire life. That could either be the end of us or that could be the best thing ever. We had a really solid relationship when we started this business. We’ve been dating for almost eight years and plan to get married on our upcoming anniversary.”
The couple have essentially opened their relationship as part of what’s at risk. In order to balance this risk, to achieve the proper amount of reward, and maintain positive flow – a solid understanding of one another’s strengths and weaknesses must be created. Once the Blackburn’s collectively connected those strengths and weaknesses, they were able to focus on the emotional side of things. In other words, they’ve got each other’s back.
“When we were going through and trying to figure out a business name, we recognized there were some catchy ideas that other companies had come up with.” Jason remembered watching the cannabis community start in Oklahoma. “While we wanted a catchy name, we also wanted our name to have a meaning behind it. One of us would come up with an idea, and the other would say ‘eh’ – so we started a list, that way when there was a name one of us thought of, it had a place to be referred back to” The two would go back and forth with names. They kept an ongoing list. Almost as if they were debating naming their soon to be newborn children. Finally, it came down to a deadline to choose.
“The deadline for a name was approaching,” Avis was laughing. “That weekend was when we needed to make the decision so we could file. Jason rattled off ‘what do you think bud, sweat and tears’? Without a word, I jumped on the computer. He asked me ‘Are you going to add it to the list?’ I told him, no that’s IT! There was no question. We purchased the domain and LLC immediately, and that following Monday we were able to file our OMMA paperwork. Now here we are!” Their company name represents what they produce, the hard work that they put in, and the emotions or occasional tear.
As I am noticing a sense of worry about some unanswered questions, I wanted to know how they felt about the specific evolution of the cannabis industry in Oklahoma.
Jason pleaded, “I would love for there to be some sort of growers alliance, that is statewide. We need to work alongside one another. We need to come together and protect our craft brands and have a way to separate the boutique from the mass production or outdoor quality.”
During my visit, I was able to fully understand and get a sense of the passion it must require to gain loyalty from a patient, as a medicine provider. It’s quite remarkable. There are specific strains that the power couple from Bud, Sweat and Tears cultivate that have such lasting and medicinal values for it’s consumers that they seek them out from across the state. When was the last time you called Paul Ehrlich, creator of chemotherapy, to ask for the best line of radioactive juice? Or even someone from the Sackler family to ask why they are perfectly content with being responsible for so many atrocities, such as creating OxyContin?
This cannabis community is becoming exactly what it was meant to be in my point of view. A community for the community. A little Bud, Sweat and Tears can go a long way when you have a ton of people alongside you ready to do their part.
Both Jason and Avis can be an inspiration for many. It is possible to work alongside one another as a family unit. It is okay to recognize one another’s strengths and weaknesses. It is ok and can be perfectly satisfying to join all of those worlds as they intertwine and grow to its natural evolving self.
You can learn more about this power couple and the journey of Bud, Sweat and Tears on their website at bud-sweat-tears.com or on Instagram @bud.sweat.tears
By James Bridges
Mike Bennett, AKA Big Mike, served 21 years in the military. 10 years in the Marines, and 11 years in the army to be exact. He himself would tell you that he was “pretty damn good at it”.
Big Mike was injured in 2012 while in Afghanistan. He was on his fourth combat tour. He developed Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy or CIDP. CIDP is a rare type of autoimmune disorder. In an autoimmune disease, the body attacks its own tissues. CIDP paralyzes as it creeps through your body. Big Mike said that his, “started in my toes and it’s up my waist now”.
“I’ve been in a wheelchair for 4 years permanently. I retired in 2013. I got on pills. So many pills. My pills were on pills.”
“I was in the active duty military. So I never use cannabis.” Big Mike was reflecting. “My dad was an avid consumer. I never got to smoke with him. I loved that he would be hanging out with his buddies and enjoying life. I just thought I’d give it a shot. I did and I haven’t turned back. I haven’t used any over-the-counter medication for any prescribed from a doctor since. I mean… even like blood pressure medication. No pills are going into my body. I just use all different types of cannabis.”
Big Mike continued, “In 1996, when I was in the Marine Corps, they did the Anthrax vaccination. It’s kind of a similar situation to the Covid vaccine. It was mandatory for the military. I developed some really bad skin problems. I get it in my face or my chest and my back. Now, all I use is cannabis cream. That’s it.”
Big Mike travels all over the country and “my mom lives in Yukon. She’s completely deaf and she wears hearing aids. Back in the 60s and 70s she was going to concerts and so she’s completely deaf, but she reads lips. So she started talking to her doctor and everything and then got approved and got her card. She is an older lady and she doesn’t feel comfortable going to events like the Cowboy Cup or even dispensaries. So I try to help her out as much as possible.”
Big Mike says that he is using cannabis on a different level than his mother. “She’s kind of relying on me as her doctor now. We talk about the strains and effects. We talk about the medicinal side of cannabis.”
Attending some of the country’s top cannabis events doesn’t keep Big Mike totally occupied. He loves to play professional wheelchair tennis. He says he is constantly traveling. “I’m in Tennessee right now. I’ll be in Louisiana next week then I’ll be in Baton Rouge. Kentucky, Louisville, Kentucky, then I’ll be in Baton Rouge. From there I go to Dallas and then Colorado.”
Big Mike says, “I’m constantly traveling. I heard about the Cowboy Cup so my buddy and I went and hung out at my mom’s house and told her that we are going to the Cowboy cup in Stillwater. She was so excited and it was just great to go up there and meet all these wonderful vendors and everything. Meeting Daniel was such an awesome experience.
“I showed up on the first day of the Cowboy Cup. I’m wearing a hat that says Big Mike and Tennessee. So it already looks like I’m an out-of-stater. I’m in my wheelchair in line, but I notice that a sign says vendors only. I see one guy walking around with a radio on his hip. He happened to be Daniel without my knowledge. I told him I bought some tickets online. I asked if I was in the right area. He told me to check in at the building. “No problems.” So I went in and I was talking to all the vendors and stuff. Someone finally asked if I was a vendor. I told them that Daniel said to check in. They smiled and continued enjoying themselves. I saw Daniel later on during the cup. He sat down with me and asked if I had seen the lady in a wheelchair going around. I let him know that I had. That’s when he let me know that it was his wife.”
Both Big Mike and Daniel Lewis say it was as if they had this immediate connection and now there’s an understanding of one another on a level that means more than just the surface. The Cowboy Cup is definitely one that I will return to year after year.